We are now in the final week of the 2012 NFL season. That means they playoff picture is starting to clear up, but there are several scenarios that could greatly change which teams play who in the postseason. Some times are already in and are just looking to improve their playoff seeding, while others need some help just to get into the dance.
10 team have clinched at least a playoff spot and 6 of the 8 division have already been won with just the NFC West and East up for grabs. Two more teams control their own playoff destiny, while 3 more teams need some help.
For those of you who have questions about what each team needs to do to improve their playoff seed, get a first round bye or just make the playoffs altogether, we have you covered. Everything you need to know about each of the 15 teams with playoff hopes is all right here.
Houston Texans- The Texans gain earn homefield advantage throughout the playoffs with a win on Sunday at Indianapolis. They can also earn that homefield advantage in the AFC with a loss by the Denver Broncos against Kansas City and also a loss by the New England Patriots against Miami. If the Texans lose on Sunday and the Patriots and Broncos win, then the Texans are the #3 seed and would host the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round. If the Texans lose and one of the Patriots or Broncos lose, then the Texans would get the #2 seed and a first round bye.
Denver Broncos- The Broncos can earn homefield advantage only if they win and Houston loses. They can still fall to the third seed and lose out on that elusive first round bye if they lose and New England wins. A Denver win guarantees at least a first round bye.
New England Patriots- The Patriots are still in the running for homefield advantage, but they have to win on Sunday and hope for the Texans and Broncos to lose. A win on Sunday guarantees at least the #3 seed. A loss by one of the Texans or Broncos combined with a Patriots win earns them a #2 seed and a first round bye. They can also fall to the #4 seed with a loss and a Ravens win. They would play the Colts in that scenario.
Baltimore Ravens- The Ravens clinched the AFC North and at least a top 4 seed in the playoffs. A win on Sunday in Cincinnati and a loss by the Patriots earns the Ravens the #3 seed.
Indianapolis Colts- The Colts have the #5 seed locked up. They will play the Ravens with a Ravens loss or Patriots win. Otherwise they will play the Patriots.
Cincinnati Bengals- The Bengals are locked into the #6 seed. They will play the Ravens with a Ravens win and Patriots loss. They will play the Patriots if the Patriots win or Ravens loss. They could potential play the Texans and Broncos as well. If the Texans lose and the Patriots and Broncos win, they play the Texans. If the Broncos lose and the Patriots win, they play the Broncos in the first round.
Atlanta Falcons- Atlanta has clinched home field advantage in the playoffs. They will host either the #4, #5 or #6 seed in the divisional round.
Green Bay Packers- The Packers have already clinched the NFC North and can earn a first round bye with eitehr a win in Minnesota on Sunday or a loss from the 49ers and the Seahawks. The Packers could fall to the #3 seed with a loss and a win by either the Seahawks or 49ers.
San Francisco 49ers- The 49ers have already clinched the playoffs, but can win the NFC West with a win against the Cardinals or a loss from the Seahawks against the Rams. The 49ers can still earn a first round bye with a win and a loss from the Green Bay in Minnesota.
Seattle Seahawks- The Seahawks have clinched a playoff spot. They will earn the top wildcard spot in the playoff without winning the NFC West. They can still win the NFC West with a win against the Rams and a loss by the 49ers against the Cardinals. If they win the NFC West, they can earn a first round bye with a Packers loss. They can earn the #2,#3 or #5 seed in the playoffs, but cannot fall to the #4 or #6 seed no matter what happens.
Washington Redskins- The Redskins win the NFC East with a win against the Cowboys on Sunday. If the lose, they can still earn a wildcard spot with losses from the Vikings and Bears.
Dallas Cowboys- The Cowboys make the playoffs and win the NFC East with a win against the Redskins.
New York Giants- The Giants can’t win the NFC East, but can earn a playoff berth with a win against the Eagles and losses by the Bears, Vikings and Cowboys.
Minnesota Vikings- The Vikings earn a playoff spot with a win against the Packers or they can still earn the final wildcard spot with losses from the Bears, Cowboys and Giants.
Chicago Bears- The Bears can only make the playoffs with a win and a Vikings loss.