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NFL Playoff Scenarios, Week 17: Giants Need Help Now

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For the past two weeks the New York Giants had control of their NFL playoff destiny. Beat the Philadelphia Eagles, hold all the cards in the race to the NFC East title and a possible home-field advantage in the playoffs. Beat the Green Bay Packers, clinch a wild-card berth.

We know now that the Giants were unable to seal the deal in either case. Now they may not be able to secure an invitation to the dance even if they beat the Washington Redskins in the final game of the regular season and finish with a respectable 10-6 record. If the Green Bay Packers defeat the Chicago Bears in the final week of the season the Packers hold the tie-breaker over the Giants after Sunday's 45-17 victory, and the Giants would go home empty-handed.

The Giants also have a slim shot at stealing a spot from the New Orleans Saints. The Saints, though, would have to lose tonight against the Atlanta Falcons and then again in Week 17 Buccaneers. It's a lot of "ifs" for a team that was 6-2 at the halfway point of the season and looked like it might be the NFC's best team.

AFC playoff scenarios really don't matter at this point for New York Jets fans, since they clinched a playoff berth Sunday thanks to Jacksonville's loss to the Washington Redskins. The exact seeding won't be clear for another week, but that can't be a big concern for Gang Green right now.

Complete NFC Scenarios

If New Orleans loses tonight, it can still clinch a playoff spot next week with:

1) NO win or tie OR
2) NYG loss or tie + GB loss or tie

Green Bay clinches a playoff spot with:

1) GB win OR
2) GB tie + NYG loss or tie + TB loss or tie OR
3) NYG loss + TB loss

New York Giants clinch a playoff spot with:

1) NYG win + GB loss or tie OR
2) NYG win + NO loses twice OR
3) NYG tie + GB loss + TB loss or tie

Tampa Bay clinches a playoff spot with:

1) TB win + NO loss to ATL + NYG loss or tie OR
2) TB win + NO loss to ATL + GB loss or tie OR
3) TB win + NYG loss or tie + GB loss or tie OR
4) TB tie + NYG loss + GB loss

St. Louis clinches NFC West with:

1) STL win or tie

Seattle clinches NFC West with:

1) SEA win

Complete AFC Scenarios

Pittsburgh clinches AFC North and a first-round bye with:

1) PIT win OR
2) PIT tie + BAL loss or tie OR
3) BAL loss

Baltimore clinches AFC North and a first-round bye with:

1) BAL win + PIT loss or tie OR
2) BAL tie + PIT loss

Indianapolis clinches AFC South with:

1) IND win or tie OR
2) JAX loss or tie

Jacksonville clinches AFC South with:

1) JAX win + IND loss