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Week 15 NFL Playoff Picture: Breaking down the scenarios

Week 15 NFL Playoff Picture: Breaking down the scenarios

The 2016 NFL Season has just three weeks remaining before only 12 teams remain in the hunt for Super Bowl LI.

With Week 14 now officially in the books, we can look ahead to Week 15 playoff berth, division title, bye and homefield advantage scenarios.  We will also look at scenarios in future weeks for those teams that can't clinch any playoff spot this week.

RELATED: RAVENS MIGHT CHECK-DOWN THEIR WAY OUT OF PLAYOFFS

NFC PLAYOFF PICTURE:

In the NFC, the Dallas Cowboys are officially in and the San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Rams and Chicago Bears are officially out.

 CLINCHED:   Dallas Cowboys -- playoff berth.

 ELIMINATED: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago.

 
DALLAS COWBOYS

Dallas clinches division title and a first-round bye:

1) DAL win + NYG loss or tie

2) DAL tie + NYG loss

Dallas clinches homefield advantage throughout NFC playoffs:

1) DAL win + NYG/DET tie

 
DETROIT LIONS

Detroit clinches division title:

1) DET win + GB loss or tie

2) DET tie + GB loss + MIN loss or tie

 
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Seattle clinches division title:

1) SEA win or tie

2) ARI loss or tie
 

NEW YORK GIANTS

NY Giants clinch a playoff berth:

1) NYG win + WAS loss + MIN loss or tie + GB loss or tie

 

AFC PLAYOFF PICTURE

The AFC playoff picture is much less solidified. Any of a number of teams can still procure first round byes.

  CLINCHED:   None

  ELIMINATED: Cleveland, Jacksonville, NY Jets.

 
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

New England clinches division title:

1) MIA loss or tie

New England clinches division title and a first-round bye:

1) NE win or tie

2) MIA loss or tie + PIT loss or tie

3) MIA loss or tie + KC win

 
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

Kansas City clinches a playoff berth:

1) KC win

2) KC tie + MIA loss

3) KC tie + DEN loss or tie

4) DEN loss + BAL loss or tie

5) DEN loss + PIT loss or tie

OAKLAND RAIDERS

Oakland clinches a playoff berth:

1) OAK win

2) OAK tie + MIA loss

3) OAK tie + DEN loss

4) OAK tie + MIA tie + DEN tie

5) OAK tie + MIA tie + KC win

6) MIA loss + PIT loss or tie + DEN loss   

7) MIA loss + PIT loss or tie + KC win or tie

8) MIA loss + BAL loss or tie + DEN loss     

 

TIEBREAKER NOTES AND ANECDOTES:

  • The NY GIANTS win on Sunday night kept both ATLANTA and TAMPA BAY from playoff berth clinching scenarios in Week 15.  Both teams needed WINS plus losses by WASHINGTON, MINNESOTA, GREEN BAY and losses by the NY GIANTS against DALLAS and DETROIT.
  • Assuming no more ties occur, the WASHINGTON REDSKINS will clinch a playoff berth if they win their final three games and any of the following occur:
    • NY GIANTS lose at least once against Detroit and Philadelphia over next two weeks
    • ATLANTA loses once
    • TAMPA BAY loses once
  • For DALLAS to clinch homefield advantage throughout the playoffs this week, they need a WIN at home on NBC Sunday Night against Tampa Bay AND they need the NY GIANTS-DETROIT game to end in a tie.  This is because they need a WIN + NY Giants loss or tie as a key part of their scenario to win the NFC East AND they would need a DETROIT loss or tie to get tiebreaker advantage over the Lions for #1 seed....and since the GIANTS and LIONS play each other, the COWBOYS need that game to end in a tie.
  • SEATTLE plays a fairly weak schedule the rest of the way (the rest of their division) that has a combined record of 10.5-28.5, which is one key reason I predict the SEAHAWKS will end up as the #2 seed with a Bye in the NFC Playoffs.
  • KANSAS CITY is very strong at home and has their next two games at Arrowhead Stadium against TENNESSEE and DENVER.  If the Chiefs win both games and OAKLAND loses at least one game over the next two weeks (@SD, IND), KC will be the AFC West Champion and will have a first round bye in the playoffs. 
  • PITTSBURGH can clinch the AFC North title and likely the #3 seed in the AFC if they win their next two games at CINCINNATI and hosting BALTIMORE on Christmas Day.
  • On the other hand, BALTIMORE controls its playoff fate for the AFC North Division title as well and can actually clinch the division in two weeks if they win against the EAGLES and at PITTSBURGH (sweep Pennsylvania) and the STEELERS lose at the BENGALS this week.

 

PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS FOLLOWING WEEK 14 (same as last week!):

AFC                

  1. New England Patriots        
  2. Kansas City Chiefs        
  3. Pittsburgh Steelers        
  4. Houston Texans            
  5. Oakland Raiders            
  6. Denver Broncos            

NFC

  1. Dallas Cowboys
  2. Seattle Seahawks
  3. Atlanta Falcons
  4. Detroit Lions
  5. New York Giants
  6. Washington Redskins

Enjoy Week 15 and best of luck to your favorite team!

 

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Ravens lower concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium ahead of 2018 season

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USA TODAY Sports

Ravens lower concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium ahead of 2018 season

Enjoying a game at M&T Bank Stadium just became a little more affordable.

On Thursday, the Ravens introduced their new "Flock Friendly Fare," reducing the price of 21 of their most popular food and beverage items.  

The change comes as the organization focuses on revamping the fan experience in 2018. Fans will see an average of 33 percent in total savings and up to 53 percent savings on a single item.  

"As a lot of you probably know, after every game we survey fans to see how we're doing; what have we done well and what have we not done well. Over the years, one of the biggest criticisms we received was for the gameday concessions prices," Ravens President Dick Cass said on the team's website

Alcoholic beverages were all reduced by $1 with the addition of domestic 12 ounce beer for $5.

Chicken tenders with fries went from $11 to $7, while a slice of pizza went from $8.50 to $6. No single item will cost above $9.

On average, you will now be able to feed a family of four for $44 compared to $66.75 in years past. To see all of the reductions, click the arrow in the post below. 

In 2017, the Atlanta Falcons reduced their concession prices upon opening their brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Ravens, however, are expecting to lose $1.5 million in concession revenue due to the change. 

Introducing our new Flock Friendly Fare!

A post shared by Baltimore Ravens (@ravens) on

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Vegas odds against Lamar Jackson starting for Ravens in 2018

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AP Images

Vegas odds against Lamar Jackson starting for Ravens in 2018

Vegas has spoken and they are not optimistic about rookie Lamar Jackson starting under center for the Ravens in 2018.

Bovado, an online gambling site, has set the odds on how the top 2018 rookies will perform and they have Jackson getting 0.5 starts this season.

That number will come as a surprise considering the popular narrative that Lamar Jackson will be the Ravens' starter in no time. The team made it clear they are planning for life after Flacco when they traded back into the first-round of the 2018 draft to select the quarterback out of Louisville at No. 32

Flacco - who is entering his 11th season with the organization - is experiencing a decline in his performance of late, one that can not be put entirely on his shoulders as the team has failed in finding him valuable weapons to throw to. Nonetheless, Flacco's projected 2018 season is very much up in the air and it appears Vegas is betting on the one-time Super Bowl MVP to bounce back. 

However, the Ravens have failed to make the playoffs four of the last five seasons, and if that trend continues into 2018, the rookie could get his shot at flipping the script.

If you're a betting man, it could payoff to bet the over on Jackson. Low risk, seemingly high reward. 

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