NFL Playoff scenarios for Week 16: Bengals, Chargers, Ravens look to join the field

Just three weeks remain in the NFL regular season, and the playoff races are heating up as well as the races for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and the all important first round bye for each conference. The AFC and NFC have two teams with a greater than a 20-percent chance to usurp the current wild-card teams and the AFC South is narrowing towards a coin flip, but that’s not all that’s at stake during Week 16.

The Philadelphia Eagles are in position to clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC this week, but the availability of Jalen Hurts against Dallas — and possibly for long-term — is now in question. The Eagles are still very likely to clinch the bye, but their odds do drop by about 6 percent if they lose to the Cowboys on Saturday. But that isn’t the only ripple effect of Hurts’ uncertainty. The Eagles play the Giants in Week 18, and not clinching the bye before the final week of the regular season could see Philadelphia having to play to win that week and potentially shake things up in the NFC wild-card race.

As for the No. 1 seed in the AFC, the Bills are the current favorites at 59.1 percent, followed by the Chiefs at 37.3 percent. The Bengals are the third most likely team to clinch at 3.6 percent. It’s likely to be a two-team race, and with the Bills and Chiefs both favored by around double-digits this weekend, it’s unlikely we’ll see too much drama. If we do, however, and one of the Bears or Seahawks pull off the upset, the odds to earn the bye would swing significantly.

Six teams are in the playoffs entering Week 16: The Bills and Chiefs in the AFC and the Eagles, Vikings, 49ers and Cowboys in the NFC. Three more AFC teams and one more NFC team can clinch berths this week, and the Bills and Eagles have milestones at stake too.

Cincinnati clinches a playoff berth with a win at New England on Saturday or a Jets loss or tie vs. Jacksonville on Thursday.

The Chargers clinch a playoff berth with a win at Indianapolis on Monday and a combination of losses or ties by the Raiders, Patriots, Jets and/or Dolphins.

The Ravens are in with any of 10 scenarios that involve wins or ties by them and wins, losses or ties by as many as seven other teams. There is even a scenario that gets Baltimore regardless of its result if the Patriots and Jets lose, the Browns, Raiders and Titans lose or tie, and the Chargers win.

The Giants clinch a playoff berth with a win at Minnesota on Saturday and losses by two of the three of Detroit, Seattle and Washington.

The Bills clinch the AFC East with a win at Chicago on Saturday or a Dolphins loss to the Packers on Sunday.

The Eagles clinch the NFC East title with a win or tie at Dallas on Saturday and clinch NFC home-field advantage and a first-round bye with a win or a tie and loss or tie by the Vikings.

However, as mentioned above, the Eagles’ injury situation could have ripple effects throughout the NFC playoff race. The AFC gives us a huge showdown on Thursday Night Football between the Jaguars and Jets, two teams on the outside looking in right now, but don’t overlook Bengals at Patriots as that game has significant playoff and AFC North implications. After scanning the slate, there are 10 games during Week 16 that will move the needle for one or both teams involved. Let’s take a look at the potential swings in playoff odds for each team if they were to win this week:

Jaguars at Jets, 8:15 p.m. ET Thursday

What if the Jaguars win?

TEAM PLAYOFF ODDS CHANGE

40.0 percent

+7.8 percent

5.0 percent

-19.0 percent

What if the Jets win?

TEAM PLAYOFF ODDS CHANGE

35.0 percent

+11.0 percent

28.3 percent

-3.9 percent

Falcons at Ravens, 1 p.m. ET Saturday

What if the Falcons win?

TEAM PLAYOFF ODDS CHANGE

9.4 percent

+6.4 percent

84.5 percent

-9.4 percent

What if the Ravens win?

TEAM PLAYOFF ODDS CHANGE

98.6 percent

+4.7 percent

0.4 percent

-2.6 percent

Lions at Panthers, 1 p.m. ET Saturday

What if the Lions win?

TEAM PLAYOFF ODDS CHANGE

72.2 percent

+14.6 percent

6.4 percent

-4.4 percent

What if the Panthers win?

TEAM PLAYOFF ODDS CHANGE

17.2 percent

+6.4 percent

29.1 percent

-28.5 percent

Seahawks at Chiefs, 1 p.m. ET Saturday

What if the Seahawks win?

TEAM PLAYOFF ODDS CHANGE

46.6 percent

+27.6 percent

TEAM 1-SEED ODDS CHANGE

8.20%

-29.1 percent

What if the Chiefs win?

TEAM 1-SEED ODDS CHANGE

44.4 percent

+7.1 percent

TEAM PLAYOFF ODDS CHANGE

11.1 percent

-7.9 percent

Giants at Vikings, 1 p.m. ET Saturday

What if the Giants win?

TEAM PLAYOFF ODDS CHANGE

97.5 percent

+19.9 percent

TEAM 1-SEED ODDS CHANGE

0.0 percent

-0.6 percent

What if the Vikings win?

TEAM 1-SEED ODDS CHANGE

2.5 percent

+1.9 percent

TEAM PLAYOFF ODDS CHANGE

71.2 percent

-6.4 percent

Bengals at Patriots, 1 p.m. ET Saturday

What if the Bengals win?

TEAM PLAYOFF ODDS CHANGE

100.0 percent

+0.4 percent

6.9 percent

-14.6 percent

What if the Patriots win?

TEAM PLAYOFF ODDS CHANGE

35.5 percent

14.0 percent

99.0 percent

-0.6 percent

Commanders at 49ers, 4:05 pm ET Saturday

What if the Commanders win?

TEAM PLAYOFF ODDS CHANGE

69.2 percent

+30.5 percent

TEAM 1-SEED ODDS CHANGE

0.0 percent

-0.7 percent

What if the 49ers win?

TEAM 1-SEED ODDS CHANGE

2.5 percent

+1.8 percent

TEAM PLAYOFF ODDS CHANGE

24.7 percent

-14.0 percent

Eagles at Cowboys, 4:25 p.m. ET Saturday

What if the Eagles win?

TEAM 1-SEED ODDS CHANGE

100.0 percent

+1.8 percent

0.0 percent

-0.5 percent

What if the Cowboys win?

TEAM 1-SEED ODDS CHANGE

2.3 percent

+1.8 percent

92.3 percent

-5.9 percent

Packers at Dolphins, 1 p.m. ET Sunday

What if the Packers win?

TEAM PLAYOFF ODDS CHANGE

16.3 percent

+9.3 percent

66.4 percent

-8.5 percent

What if the Dolphins win?

TEAM PLAYOFF ODDS CHANGE

82.3 percent

+7.4 percent

1.5 percent

-5.5 percent

Chargers at Colts, 8:15 p.m. ET Monday

What if the Chargers win?

TEAM PLAYOFF ODDS CHANGE

96.7 percent

+14.8 percent

0.0 percent

-0.2 percent

What if the Colts win?

TEAM PLAYOFF ODDS CHANGE

0.6 percent

+0.4 percent

65.9 percent

-16.0 percent

(Photo: Julio Aguilar / Getty Images)

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