What are all the playoff scenarios for the remaining AFC Wild Card teams

An entire season has been boiled down to one final week for the Houston Texans.

Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans
Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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The Houston Texans just have to win and they are in. They'd be the seventh and final team into the playoffs and the last of three Wild Card teams. That's all they have to do. Get the win and you're in. There is no second option for the Texans, where if six other teams win, a tie happens in the fourth Sunday game, and if Snoopy was the lead float in the 1998 Thanksgiving Day Parade they get in due to a strength of schedule

if they lose, they are out. If they win they are in, it's that simple. Now, there is another option for the Texans about when and where they play that has to be decided. If the Texans win and the Jacksonville Jaguars lose, the Texans win the AFC South. It's that simple.

Same for the Texan's opponent on Sunday, the Indianapolis Colts. They have the same path forward for their team that the Texans do, but what about the rest of the AFC Wild Card teams?

The Pittsburgh Steelers have five ways in;

  • Steelers win against Ravens and Bills loss 
  • Steelers win against Ravens and Jaguars lose or tie
  • Steelers win against Ravens and Texans and Colts tie 
  • Jaguars lose to Titans and Broncos win, while Texans and Colts doesn't end in tie
  • Steelers tie against Ravens and Jaguars lose to Titans, while Texans and Colts doesn't end in tie 

The Buffalo Bills have a few ways in as well;

Buffalo clinches playoff berth with:

  • Buffalo ties final game
  • Pittsburgh loses or ties
  • Jacksonville loses
  • Texans and Colts end in tie.

While Buffalo can clinch the AFC East title by defeating the Miami Dolphins.

There is a case where the Bills and Texans finish third and fourth as the winners of the AFC East and South respectively, meaning the final wild-card teams would be the Cleveland Browns, the Miami Dolphins, and the Pittsburgh Steelers and in that scenario, the Texans would likely face the Browns depending on how the seedings fall.

But the AFC South can only have two teams make the playoffs if the Jaguars and the Texans or Colts both win on Sunday. Otherwise, they'll only have one squad in the postseason.


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