AFC playoff chase 2021

tims4wins

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I would guess that the top TV rating teams are Cowboys/Bucs/Chiefs/Pats in that order. I am also guessing that the top time slots are Sunday night and Monday night, and that those games will have two of those four teams. I am open to being corrected.

Is Saturday night a good time slot? I would guess Chiefs Saturday night, Cowboys Sunday night, Bucs Monday night. Bucs have a short week but stay home to play the Rams the following Sunday.
I would think Sunday 4:30 is the #1 spot to be honest.
 

snowmanny

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I do think a #2 seed should be stuck with the Monday night game because it’s a short week for them if they win but at least they don’t travel.
 

Saints Rest

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I do think a #2 seed should be stuck with the Monday night game because it’s a short week for them if they win but at least they don’t travel.
I agree 100%. The 4/5 games should be on Saturday as they are most likely to play the #1 seeds, so then the following weekend can have both 1 seed games on Saturday. Which then allows, assuming seeding holds, for both 1 seeds to have an extra day of rest in the Conf Championships.
 

tims4wins

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I agree 100%. The 4/5 games should be on Saturday as they are most likely to play the #1 seeds, so then the following weekend can have both 1 seed games on Saturday. Which then allows, assuming seeding holds, for both 1 seeds to have an extra day of rest in the Conf Championships.
But if 6 beats 3, then it is 1 vs 6 and 2 vs 4/5, and if 4/5 is Saturday and 2 wins on Monday, they get 2 fewer days rest. Even though they don’t have to travel and get to play at home again, this feels like a bit too much of a disadvantage?
 

E5 Yaz

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So, if the Jags upset the Colts on Sunday ...
  1. Clinching the No. 1 pick for Detroit. If the Lions lose to the top-seeded Green Bay Packers, they'll finish the season 2-14-1 -- one .5 win worse than the Jags (3-14).
  2. Clinching a playoff berth for Pittsburgh. The Steelers would also need to beat the Ravens. The second open AFC wild-card spot would go to the winner of Chargers-Raiders, unless the game ended in a tie, at which point the Chargers, Raiders and Steelers would all be 9-7-1. The Chargers and Raiders would both clinch because of head-to-head wins over the Steelers.
  3. Clinching a playoff berth for Las Vegas (after the early games). The Ravens would also need to beat the Steelers. In this case, the Raiders clinch regardless of the outcome of their game vs. the Chargers.
  4. Keeping Baltimore alive (after the early games). Assuming they beat the Steelers, for the Ravens to earn a playoff spot, they would then need the Patriots to beat the Dolphins and the Raiders to beat the Chargers.
  5. Leaving only one path for Indianapolis. The Colts would then need three games to go their way: 1) Ravens beat Steelers; 2) Dolphins beat Patriots; 3) Raiders beat Chargers
  6. Eliminating the Ravens (after the late games). Regardless of the outcome of Steelers-Ravens, a Dolphins win over the Patriots in the late window ends Baltimore's playoff hopes.
https://www.nfl.com/news/afc-playoff-picture-ripple-effects-of-a-potential-jaguars-win-over-colts-in-week
 

E5 Yaz

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But if 6 beats 3, then it is 1 vs 6 and 2 vs 4/5, and if 4/5 is Saturday and 2 wins on Monday, they get 2 fewer days rest. Even though they don’t have to travel and get to play at home again, this feels like a bit too much of a disadvantage?
They really should have kept Monday open to accommodate a COVID-impacted game
 

Chance17

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Is there a way for the league to prevent the possibility of having a team that plays on WC Saturday play another team that plays on WC Monday? In other words, if 1-2 upsets happen you could conceivable have a situation where there is a matchup of two teams that play WC weekend with one team having an extra two days. I think the only way to prevent this would be to not have AFC games both Saturday and Monday, or same with the NFC, right? In other words the AFC games need to be Sat-Sun and the NFC Sun-Mon, or vice-versa, otherwise there could be some major scheduling advantage? Am I correct?
Yes, you're correct. I.e. they can't guarantee that the Monday winner won't play a Saturday winner in the division round, unless on Saturday they avoid playing any games from the same conference as the Monday game.

Before the expansion to add a third wild card in each conference, there is some precedent for playing both AFC or both NFC games on the same day on wild card weekend (but not on division weekend seems--just noting). In 2015 and 2019 both AFC games were played on wild card Saturday--I suspect so they could put the weakest (TV-wise) games in the early Saturday slot (Chiefs@Texans and Bills@Texans).

So if they put an NFC game on Monday night, that could lead to this schedule:

Sat 4:35 Chargers @ Chiefs
Sat 8:15 Patriots @ Bills/Bengals
Sun 1:05 Colts @ Bengals/Bills
Sun 4:40 Eagles @ Bucs
Sun 8:15 Saints @ Rams (or 49ers @ Cardinals if 49ers win this week)
Mon 8:15 Cardinals @ Cowboys (or Rams @ Cowboys if 49ers win this week)


So if they put an AFC game on Monday night, that could lead to this schedule:

Sat 4:35 Saints @ Rams (or 49ers @ Cardinals if 49ers win this week)
Sat 8:15 Eagles @ Bucs
Sun 1:05 Colts @ Bengals/Bills
Sun 4:40 Cardinals @ Cowboys (or Rams @ Cowboys if 49ers win this week)
Sun 8:15 Chargers @ Chiefs
Mon 8:15 Patriots @ Bills/Bengals


To me, the second one (AFC on Monday night) seems more likely.

Now let's consider what happens if they decide to risk the "team(s) may get an extra 2 days of rest than their opponent in the division round" scenario...

So the question now is: how do we minimize the risk in this situation (and the "badness" if it does occur), balanced with making a good TV schedule?

Per a little birdie, it sounds likely that the MNF game will a 4-5 game. If Dallas remains the 4, it won't be Dallas. So, if Dallas remains the 4, get mentally prepared for that possibility.
I think your birdie is exactly right--at least in the case where they risk the "2 days of extra rest situation. Without going into gory details, I think the simplest way to think about it is that if you're going to get stuck in the situation where one team has +2 days of rest in the division round, I think you (a) want the higher seed to be the team getting the extra rest, and (b) don't want this situation to come up in the most likely cases. (FWIW, I don't think it's right to balance this against the fact that the lower seed may be the only team traveling--the higher seed deserves all the advantages IMO.)

Say you put the 2 vs. 7 game on Monday and 2 wins: then 2 will play a Saturday lower-seed winner if 3 beats 6 on Saturday or if 6 beats 3 on Sunday (depending on where the other two games are placed).
Say you put the 3 vs. 6 game on Monday and 3 wins: then 3 will play a Saturday lower-seed winner if 2 beats 7 on Saturday (or in many ways if 4 plays 5 on Saturday).

So 4 vs. 5 on Monday is the way to go.

Adding on, it's better to then put the same-conference 2 vs. 7 game on Saturday rather than the 3 vs. 6 game. If you put 2 vs. 7 on Saturday, then the only way you get the bad scenario is if 2 beats 7 and 6 upsets 3 (then 4 plays 2).
If instead you put the 3 vs. 6 game on Sat, you take the same risk, plus the risk of upsets on both Sat and Sun -- in which case the higher-seed 4/5 Monday winner ends up playing a 7 seed that won on Saturday.

So if we assume Sat 2vs7, Sun 3vs6 and Mon 4vs5 (all from the same conference)...

Scenario with NFC game on Monday night:

Sat 4:35 Saints @ Rams (or Eagles @ Bucs if 49ers win this week)
Sat 8:15 Chargers @ Chiefs
Sun 1:05 Colts @ Bengals/Bills
Sun 4:40 Patriots @ Bills/Bengals
Sun 8:15 Eagles @ Bucs (or 49ers @ Cardinals if 49ers win this week)
Mon 8:15 Cardinals @ Cowboys (or Rams @ Cowboys if 49ers win this week)


Again, I don't see the NFL doing it this way.

Scenario with AFC game on Monday night:

Sat 4:35 Saints @ Rams (or 49ers @ Cardinals if 49ers win this week)
Sat 8:15 Chargers @ Chiefs
Sun 1:05 Colts @ Bengals/Bills
Sun 4:40 Cardinals @ Cowboys (or Rams @ Cowboys if 49ers win this week)
Sun 8:15 Eagles @ Bucs
Mon 8:15 Patriots @ Bills/Bengals


Consolidating everything, I believe that makes this my prediction:
Sat 4:35 Saints @ Rams (or 49ers @ Cardinals if 49ers win this week)
Sat 8:15 Chargers @ Chiefs (or Eagles @ Bucs if two NFC games on Sat)
Sun 1:05 Colts @ Bengals/Bills
Sun 4:40 Cardinals @ Cowboys (or Rams @ Cowboys if 49ers win this week)
Sun 8:15 Eagles @ Bucs (or Chargers @ Chiefs if two NFC games on Sat)
Mon 8:15 Patriots @ Bills/Bengals


[Edit: or if on Sunday 8:15 is considered a higher profile slot than 4:40, swap those two games to put the Cowboys in the prime spot.]

So if we do think the AFC 4vs5 game is destined for Monday night, then the Patriots can avoid that by moving up (Bills need to lose), or by moving down (guaranteed if they lose and the Colts win--but then Pats may be the #7 at KC if the Raiders win their game...)
 
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E5 Yaz

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Consolidating everything, I believe that makes this my prediction:
Sat 4:35 Saints @ Rams (or 49ers @ Cardinals if 49ers win this week)
Sat 8:15 Chargers @ Chiefs (or Eagles @ Bucs if two NFC games on Sat)
Sun 1:05 Colts @ Bengals/Bills
Sun 4:40 Cardinals @ Cowboys (or Rams @ Cowboys if 49ers win this week)
Sun 8:15 Eagles @ Bucs (or Chargers @ Chiefs if two NFC games on Sat)
Mon 8:15 Patriots @ Bills/Bengals


So if we do think the AFC 4vs5 game is destined for Monday night, then the Patriots can avoid that by moving up (Bills need to lose), or by moving down (guaranteed if they lose and the Colts win--but then Pats may be the #7 at KC if the Raiders win their game...)
I appreciate the effort, but the Cowboys will get an 815 start on either Saturday or Sunday
 

Chance17

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I appreciate the effort, but the Cowboys will get an 815 start on either Saturday or Sunday
I saw conflicting posts on which is the "most prime" slot--i.e. Sun 4:40, Sat 8:15, or Sun 8:15 -- and I just guessed at Sun 4:40. I do agree the Cowboys get a night slot if that's the more coveted one.

So in that case, in my scenario just swap the 4:40 and 8:15 games on Sunday (and leave the rest alone).
 

DJnVa

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I only just now realized the Pats could get the #4 seed by BUF losing and the Pats and Miami tieing. Weird.
Is it? The teams have the same record with one game left--if one loses and the other ties of course they finish ahead. The Bills also get it by tying if the Pats lose.
 

TomTerrific

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Is it? The teams have the same record with one game left--if one loses and the other ties of course they finish ahead. The Bills also get it by tying if the Pats lose.
It's weird because numerous outlets have been claiming the Pats can get any seed but the #4 seed (e.g. NFL Network, SportsHub, Pats Unfiltered).

EDIT: Just watching NFL Network now and they have it right. So perhaps someone noticed this overnight and fixed it
 

DJnVa

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It's weird because numerous outlets have been claiming the Pats can get any seed but the #4 seed (e.g. NFL Network, SportsHub, Pats Unfiltered).

EDIT: Just watching NFL Network now and they have it right. So perhaps someone noticed this overnight and fixed it
My bad. Misunderstood what you were getting at.
 

staz

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The cradle of the game.
If everything else goes reasonably according to the odds, Sun night LAC @ LVR is a defacto playoff game, which is I guess what the league saw when they moved it there.
 

j-man

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my guess at the top 8 in the AFC overall
1 Tenn this is their chance they will never get a better one
2 Ciny unlees they have to go @ KC i like their odds that said right now they are my 2022 AFC Fav next season
3 KC their key is avolding buff/ne in round 2
4 Buff/ne both of the is the AFC darkhorse for SB 56
6 Indy good team just a bad qb this team is what denver couiud be with good coaching
7VEGAS/LAC i favor vegas here they been playing playoff ball for 3 weeks
the chargers u never know which team will show up
 

tims4wins

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my guess at the top 8 in the AFC overall
1 Tenn this is their chance they will never get a better one
2 Ciny unlees they have to go @ KC i like their odds that said right now they are my 2022 AFC Fav next season
3 KC their key is avolding buff/ne in round 2
4 Buff/ne both of the is the AFC darkhorse for SB 56
6 Indy good team just a bad qb this team is what denver couiud be with good coaching
7VEGAS/LAC i favor vegas here they been playing playoff ball for 3 weeks
the chargers u never know which team will show up
KC can’t be worse than 2
 

Strike4

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I just heard on the radio that if Indy loses, BOTH the Chargers and Raiders get in if their game later today ends in a tie. That is crazy.
 

BlackJack

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I just heard on the radio that if Indy loses, BOTH the Chargers and Raiders get in if their game later today ends in a tie. That is crazy.
That’s true but they also both get in if the Chargers win and the Ravens win. In that scenario LAC is out of NV wins. If the Ravens lose then it has to be a tie for both, otherwise only the winner is in.
 

Chance17

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I really want the Chargers/Raiders “kneel down game” to guarantee they both get in (because screw the NFL…)— but I guess it won’t happen for a few reasons. One, not angering Goodell. But also because the Raiders go to Cincy with a win and KC with a tie.
 

BaseballJones

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So if the Chargers win, Pats travel to Cincy, and if Vegas wins, the Pats travel to Buffalo.

Either way...let's go! Key is Barmore. If he's out, then that's a huge problem. (and it didn't look so good)