There are but two weeks to go in the regular season and much still to be settled in the NFL playoff race. To help sort out the Gordian knot of possible seedings, please consult this handy list.
The Broncos clinch homefield advantage in the AFC if:
They win out.
Conference seeds are determined by Sports Illustrated editors.
Global warming accelerates to the point that Peyton doesn’t have to play any more cold weather games.
The Broncos get a first-round bye with:
a Kansas City loss
An order of a large pizza with at least one topping from Papa John’s.
The Patriots clinch homefield in the AFC if:
Santa Claus is found not to be one of the following races: black, Asian, Hispanic, Arab, Cablinasian, Gungan
The Patriots clinch a first-round bye if:
Santa Claus is actually just a fictional construct created to further the goals of capitalism.
The Bengals get a first-round bye if:
Tiebreakers are awarded to the team with the most three-yard gains by a starting running back.
The Bengals win the AFC North if:
Andy Dalton’s elite ladder golf game is too much for the Ravens to overcome.
Jay Gruden takes his brother’s advice and runs Spider Y 2 Banana on every down.
The Colts have already clinched their division because the AFC South is garbage.
The Colts can clinch a first-round bye if:
The entire AFC is garbage.
Andrew Luck confuses us benighted state university folk with his fancy Stanford words.
The Chiefs can clinch homefield advantage if:
The Patriots and Broncos both have the most glorious late season meltdowns.
Oh please oh please oh please
The Chiefs can win the AFC West if:
Dwayne Bowe checks the hours at the local Sonic before he gets pulled over.
The Ravens win the AFC North if:
They win out.
Justin Tucker keeps starting himself in fantasy
The Ravens clinch a Wild Card berth if:
Dennis Pitta is referenced as Joe Flacco’s security blanket at least six times per broadcast.
Flacco publicly bitches about the playcalling.
Baltimore just keeps doing that thing where they throw deep and always draw a flag.
The Dolphins can clinch a Wild Card berth if:
They win out and Baltimore loses at least one game
They win out and Baltimore wins out by knocking Cincy out of the AFC North lead in Week 17 OH HO HO THAT’D BE HILARIOUS BENGALFREUDE
The Chargers can get a Wild Card berth if:
Philip Rivers sires another child in the final weeks of the season
It’s an immaculate conception. He’ll raise a Christ baby too.
It’s already taller than Danny Woodhead at birth.
The Seahawks can clinch homefield in the NFC with:
A win or a Saints loss
Russell Wilson says something
It’s Go Hawks!
The Saints clinch a first-round bye if:
They defeat the Panthers
Rob Ryan invites a call girl to the sidelines
Her boob is hanging out all game.
Sean Payton completes a CrossFit burpee marathon within a 30-minute timecap.
The NFC North regrets to inform that their division title has been vacated for this season. They hope you understand.
The Panthers win the NFC South and a first-round bye if:
Analytical Ron combine to become Self-Actualized Ron, the most fully formed Ron
Their defense continues to play well and Luke Kuechly gets all the credit.
The Panthers get a Wild Card berth if:
Steve Smith is business savvy enough to trademark the phrase “Ice Up, Son”
The Eagles clinch the NFC East if:
They don’t run into another team as good as the Vikings.
Peter King keeps insisting we just get over Riley Cooper’s shocking racism.
The Cowboys win the NFC East if:
The 49ers get a Wild Card berth if:
No one has the guts to call Candlestick Park a dump
BUT OH WAIT
Pete Prisco does! He’s just so real and unfiltered!
Nobody will say it, so I will. Candlestick Park is a dump.
— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) December 17, 2013
The Cardinals get a Wild Card berth if:
Everyone exclaims WOW THE CARDS ARE STILL ALIVE
They win a bunch of games
Everyone is like WOW THE CARDS MADE IT!