10 games have playoff implications today
The NFL has 16 games to end the 2019 regular season today, and 10 of them have playoff implications.
Here’s a look at which games have implications for both teams, which games have implications for one team, and which games don’t matter in the playoff race:
MAJOR IMPLICATIONS FOR BOTH TEAMS
49ers at Seahawks: Sunday Night Football has the game of the day, the NFC West championship game. The winner wins the division, the loser is the NFC 5 seed and will play on the road against the NFC East champion next week. If the 49ers win they earn home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs; if the Seahawks win they still need help to get a bye.
MAJOR IMPLICATIONS FOR ONE TEAM, MINOR IMPLICATIONS FOR ONE TEAM
Titans at Texans: For the Titans, they’re in the playoffs with a win. For the Texans, it’s possible that a win could bump them from the AFC 4 seed to the AFC 3 seed, but that’s such a minor difference that Houston plans to rest its starters and accept the 4 seed.
PLAYOFF IMPLICATIONS FOR ONE TEAM
Steelers at Ravens: The Steelers make the playoffs with a win and a Titans loss. (The Steelers can also make the playoffs with a loss, if the Titans also lose, the Colts win and the Raiders lose.) The Ravens have already clinched home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.
Eagles at Giants: If the Eagles win, they win the NFC East. (They also win the NFC East with a loss, if the Cowboys also lose.) The Giants are mathematically eliminated.
Washington at Cowboys: The Cowboys win the NFC East if they win and the Eagles lose. Washington is mathematically eliminated.
Dolphins at Patriots: The Patriots earn a playoff bye with a win. (The Patriots also earn a playoff bye if the Chiefs lose.) The Dolphins are mathematically eliminated.
Chargers at Chiefs: The Chiefs earn a playoff bye with a win and a Patriots loss. The Chargers are mathematically eliminated.
Raiders at Broncos: The Raiders make the playoffs with a win, a Titans loss, a Steelers loss and a Colts win, as long as they clinch the strength of victory tiebreaker over the Steelers, which they will if at least one of the Bears, Lions, Chargers or Patriots win.
Packers at Lions: The Packers clinch a first-round bye with a win and can clinch home-field advantage with a win and a 49ers loss. (The Packers could also clinch a bye with a loss, if the Saints also lose.) The Lions are mathematically eliminated.
Saints at Panthers: The Saints clinch a first-round bye with a win and either a Packers or 49ers loss, and clinch home-field advantage with a win and both a Packers and a 49ers loss. (The Saints can also clinch a bye with a loss, if the 49ers lose and the Packers win.) The Panthers are mathematically eliminated.
PLAYOFF IMPLICATIONS ONLY FOR AFC TIEBREAKERS
Colts at Jaguars: Both teams are mathematically eliminated, but a Colts win is necessary for the Raiders to win the AFC tiebreaker.
Bears at Vikings: The Bears are mathematically eliminated and the Vikings are locked into the NFC 6 seed, but a Bears win is one component that can give the Raiders the strength of victory tiebreaker over the Steelers.
NO PLAYOFF IMPLICATIONS FOR EITHER TEAM
Jets at Bills: The Jets are mathematically eliminated and the Bills are locked into the AFC 5 seed.
Browns at Bengals: Both teams are mathematically eliminated.
Falcons at Buccaneers: Both teams are mathematically eliminated.
Cardinals at Rams: Both teams are mathematically eliminated.