NFL Week 15
With 3 weeks left in the season, it's time to look at the Playoff Picture. I probably won't decode many games this week, it's now mostly just wait and see to hope the pieces fall the right way in the playoff seeding.
This is a tool called the "Playoff Machine" that allows you to pick winners of the last 3 weeks and see how it affects playoff seeding:
This is the current playoff projection after Week 14:
Here is how I am projecting the seeds to fall after the season:
#1 - New England
#2 - Kansas City
#3 - Pittsburgh
#4 - Indianapolis
#5 - Oakland
#6 - Denver
In the hunt: Miami, Baltimore, Tennessee, Buffalo
3, 5 and 6 are interchangable. I think Pittsburgh will likely hang on to the 3, and the 5 and 6 will come down to Oakland, Denver, Miami, Baltimore and Tennessee. Miami just lost Tannehill so they are in trouble. Oakland only has 3 losses so they are in very good shape. Denver has a tough upcoming schedule, and who knows about Baltimore and Tennessee. Buffalo has a favorable schedule.
#1 - Dallas
#2 - Seattle
#3 - Detroit
#4 - Atlanta
#5 - New York Giants
#6 - Minnesota Vikings
In the hunt: Tampa Bay, Washington, Green Bay
Dallas is solid to retain the #1 overall seed. 2, 3 and 4 are interchangeable, it mainly just depends on where they want the Wild Card matchups to be. I expect Tampa Bay to lose 3 in a row, and Washington to lose 2 of 3 in order to help Minnesota get into the #6 seed.
Now let's look at the teams next 3 games and how they need to win or lose.
@Minnesota - W
@Oakland - W
vs. Jacksonville - W
Indy must win all 3 of these games and have Houston lose 2 of 3, and Tennesee lose 1 of 3. If the Colts lose to Minnesota, that brings Jacksonville into having to beat both Houston and Tennessee for the Colts to get in. That is highly unlikely.
Houston must lose 2 of 3 for the Colts to win the division. Houston holds a tie-breaker over Indy. It would be nice if the Jaguars can knock off the Texans to help out.
Tennessee must lose 1 of 3 for the Colts to win the division. The Colts hold a tie-breaker over the Titans.
vs New England
Denver has a tough schedule, playing the #1 and #2 AFC seeds the next 2 weeks.
vs Indianapolis - L
Oakland has at least 1 more loss coming when the Colts beat them.
Kansas City (10-3):
vs Tennessee - W
Kansas City needs to beat Tennessee to help out the Colts. I think they will hold on to the #2 seed.
Baltimore has a pretty tough schedule as well, with 2 divisional road games. This should be too much to overcome.
vs New England
Miami just lost their QB Tannehill to a knee injury so they are in trouble. They have a fairly easy schedule though, and by Week 17 New England may have locked up the #1 seed and rest starters.
@ NY Jets
At least Buffalo has an easy schedule if they want to fight for the #6 seed at 9-7.
vs Indianapolis - L
@ Green Bay (Adrian Peterson returns) - W
vs Chicago - W
Minnesota has to lose to the Colts to help them, and then win the last 2 games to get to 9-7 and the #6 seed.
Tampa Bay (8-5):
@ Dallas - L
@ New Orleans - L
vs Carolina - L
Tampa Bay has to Lose all 3 games for the Vikings to make the playoffs.
vs New York Giants - L
Washington must lose 2 of 3 to fall out of the wild card and Minnesota to get in.
New York Giants (9-4):
@ Washington - W
New York has pretty much locked up the #5 seed. They need to beat Washington in Week 17 to help the Vikings get into the #6 seed.
vs Los Angeles
@ San Francisco
Seattle has an easy remaining schedule. They should at least win 2 of 3 games because the Rams and Niners are pathetic right now.
vs Tampa Bay - W
Dallas has to beat Tampa Bay to help Minnesota. They should lock up the #1 seed, I don't think anyone else can catch them.
@ New York Giants
vs Green Bay
This is a fairly tough schedule with road games, and Matthew Stafford just injured his throwing hand. Detroit needs to win 1 game to wrap up the Division title. If they lose out and GB wins 2 of 3, GB can still take the division. If that happens, Detroit would be the 6 and Minnesota would be out. So it makes more sense for GB to be the team that gets left out of the playoffs.
Green Bay (7-6):
vs Minnesota - L
Green Bay needs to lose Minnesota and that would all but eliminate them.
Indianapolis over Minnesota, Kansas City over Tennessee, Dallas over Tampa Bay.
If any of these 3 are wrong, the whole season narrative of Colts vs Giants/Vikings is coming off the rails.
Carolina over Washington, Green Bay over Chicago, Oakland over San Diego
If Washington beats Carolina, they would have to lose to Chicago the next week in order for Minnesota to get the #6. I think Green Bay will win this week to setup the showdown with the Vikings and Adrian Peterson's return. San Diego has many injuries including Melvin Gordon so they probably fall to the Raiders.
Seattle over Los Angeles, Buffalo over Cleveland, Atlanta over San Francisco
Week 15 Games:
Los Angeles at Seattle
Miami at New York Jets
Green Bay at Chicago
192nd regular matchup. Chicago leads 93-92-6.
194th overall matchup. Chicago leads 94-93-6 (including 1-1 playoffs)
Cleveland at Buffalo
20th regular matchup. Cleveland leads 11-8.
21st overall matchup. Cleveland leads 12-8 (including 1-0 playoffs)
Philadelphia at Baltimore
5th matchup. Eagles lead 2-1-1.
Baltimore is 1-2-1 in the matchup. If the Eagles win it will look like 1-3-1 for the championship coding. This would tie in to the Colts (originally from Baltimore) going for the championship in Andrew Luck's 5th season so I think an Eagles win bodes well.
Tennessee at Kansas City
49th regular matchup. Kansas City leads 27-21.
51st overall matchup. Kansas City leads 29-21 (including 2-0 playoffs)
Interesting that Kansas City needs to beat Tennessee (originally from Houston) in the 51st/49th matchup (SB 51 and Revelation = 49). KC needs to win to help Indianapolis.
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati
93rd regular matchup. Pittsburgh leads 57-35.
95th overall matchup. Pittsburgh leads 59-35 (including 2-0 playoffs)
Detroit at New York Giants
43rd regular matchup. Detroit leads 21-20-1.
44th overall matchup. Detroit leads 22-20-1 (including 1-0 playoffs)
Indianapolis at Minnesota
24th regular matchup. Indianapolis leads 15-7-1.
25th overall matchup. Indianapolis leads 16-7-1 (including 1-0 playoffs)
Colts = 24 so that bodes well in the 24th matchup.
If Colts win they would be 16-7 (neglecting the tie). 167 is the 39th prime. Indianapolis located on the 39th parallel North so another favorable alignment for the Colts.
Jacksonville at Houston
30th matchup. Houston leads 18-11.
Can Jacksonville get win #12 to help Andrew Luck #12?
New Orleans at Arizona
29th regular matchup. Arizona leads 15-13.
30th overall matchup. Arizona leads 16-13 (including 1-0 playoffs)
San Francisco at Atlanta
77th regular matchup. San Francisco leads 46-29-1.
79th overall matchup. San Francisco leads 47-30-1 (including 1-1 playoffs)
Oakland at San Diego
114th regular matchup. Oakland leads 61-50-2.
115th overall matchup. Oakland leads 62-50-2 (including 1-0 playoffs)
New England at Denver
47th regular matchup. Denver leads 26-20.
52nd overall matchup. Denver leads 30-21 (including 4-1 playoffs)
Tampa Bay at Dallas
16th regular matchup. Dallas leads 11-4.
18th overall matchup. Dallas leads 13-4 (including 2-0 playoffs).
Carolina at Washington
13th matchup. Washington leads 7-5.
Washington Redskins = 85, so that isn't a good coding for the Panthers, but Carolina really needs to win this to help Minnesota. Fed Ex Field is on the 76th meridian West so that is a good sign for the series to go to 7-6 in Washington.