26 December 2012
Teams that have already clinched their post season berths are: Patriots, Broncos, Colts, Texans, Ravens, and Bengals. The AFC field is set, however the first round byes and home field advantage is still up for grabs. The Texans can clinch a first round bye with a Texans win or tie, a Patriots loss or tie or a Broncos loss. The Texans can clinch home field with a Texans win, a Texans loss AND a Broncos loss or tie or a Patriots loss or tie AND a Broncos loss. Are you still with me? I know it's maddeningly confusing. The Texans play the Colts on Sunday.
The Broncos play the Chiefs and their scenarios play out as follows. The Broncos can clinch a first round bye with a Broncos win or tie, a Patriots loss or tie. The Broncos can clinch home field with a Broncos win AND a Texans loss and tie or a Broncos tie AND a Texans loss.
The Patriots play the Dolphins and they can clinch a first round bye with a Patriots win AND a Broncos loss or a Patriots win AND a Texans loss. The Patriots can clinch home field with a Patriots win AND a Broncos loss AND a Texans loss. That's a lot of losing that needs to happen.
The Texans/Colts game is not an easy one to pick a winner. The Texans have an up and down defense and the Colts have their beloved Coach Pagano back. I tend to lean towards a Colts win, so a Texans loss may be in the cards.
The Broncos SHOULD win handily, so that probably eliminates a Patriots home field. However, the Patriots SHOULD also win, so if the Texans loss that would give the Pats a 1st round bye.
It gets very murky at this time of the year. The scenarios can become head spinning. Some years the last regular season game doesn't mean a whole lot but in recent years the last regular season game has decided many aspects of the post season and this one will be no different it seems.