We share an updated playoff picture outlook for the Houston Texans, San Francisco 49ers and Minnesota Vikings after their NFL Week 15 games. According to the odds page at SBR, all three teams are favored to win their huge NFL Week 16 games .
The Texans had a tough divisional battle on the road against the Titans and they found a way to get a massive 24-21 to remain in first place in the AFC South after moving to 9-5.
What did their big victory in Nashville mean for them and the entire AFC? The percentages and numbers included below are courtesy of PlayoffStatus.com.
The 12-2 Ravens have the top seed in the conference , with the Patriots sitting in second place after their 34-13 win in Cincinnati. The 10-4 Chiefs have the third-best record in the AFC after cruising past the Broncos 23-3 and the Texans are still in the fourth seed with their win against the Titans.
The two Wild Card spots in the AFC are held by the 10-4 Bills and the 8-6 Steelers. After beating the Steelers 17-10 on Sunday Night Football, the Bills clinched a playoff spot. The loss leaves the Steelers tied with the Titans with an 8-6 record but Pittsburgh has a 6-4 conference record while Tennessee is 6-5 against the AFC.
After beating the Titans, the Texans have a one percent chance at the No. 2 seed in the AFC, a 25 percent shot at the No. 3 seed and a 64 percent chance to finish with the No. 4 seed. Overall, they’re sitting in a good position and the AFC South is theirs to lose.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers hosted the Falcons in a game that they were expected to win comfortably. Had they done their part, they would have moved one step closer towards winning the NFC West but they ended up losing 29-22 after getting outscored 19-9 in the fourth quarter.
Losing to a Falcons team that was 4-9 before yesterday is less than ideal. The Falcons played the 49ers tough all afternoon and star wide receiver Julio Jones just could not be stopped and he eventually scored the game-winning touchdown in the final seconds.
What does the surprising loss to the Falcons mean for the 49ers and for the NFC?
The Seahawks are now the top seed in the NFC at 11-3. The Packers are still in second place at 11-3 with their 21-13 win against the Bears and as December 15 the Saints are the third seed at 10-3 (they host the Colts on Monday Night Football. The mediocre 7-7 Cowboys are currently in the No. 4 spot after taking care of the disappointing 44-21 Rams.
The 11-3 49ers and the 10-4 Vikings have the two Wild Card spots. The Vikings crushed the Chargers 39-10 in Los Angeles and believe it or not the 8-6 Rams still have a chance to reach the playoffs, though they need to win out and hope the Vikings lose their two games and even if that happens they would just take the last Wild Card spot. The 7-7 Eagles can also make it but they need to win their two games and hope the Cowboys collapse.
The Seahawks, Packers, and 49ers all clinched a playoff spot after the Week 15 results, although as mentioned above, the 49ers clearly didn’t do themselves any favors.
With their loss against the Falcons, the 49ers now have a 37 percent chance to be the No. 1 seed in the NFC. San Francisco also has a four percent chance at reaching second place and a one percent chance at securing the No. 3 seed.
As for their Wild Card outlook, the 49ers now have a 32 percent chance at being the 5th seed and a 21 percent chance at the 6th seed. They did secure a playoff spot because the Rams lost but dropping their game against the Falcons really hurt them.
The Vikings defeated the Chargers to keep their hold on the No. 6 seed in the NFC. At 10-4 and with two games left, their Wild Card is practically secured and they could also catch the Packers in the NFC North.
After beating the Chargers , the Vikings also eliminated the Bears from playoff contention. What does their win in Los Angeles mean for them and for the NFC? The Vikings now have a 75 percent chance of keeping the No. 6 seed in the NFC, as well as a three percent shot at fifth place and while winning the NFC North would be hard, the Packers could lose out and the Vikings can go 2-0.