Headed into the final weekend, 10 of the 12 playoff spots have been determined while much of the seeding remains wide open. Washington has the fourth seed secured while Houston virtually has their 4th place spot secured as well – if Houston loses and Indianapolis wins, 7 other games have to go Indianapolis’ way in order for Houston not to make it.
Each week Bing Predicts picks the winners of every professional football game. Starting next week, we’ll also be predicting the playoff games and adding some commentary as to why our models are making particular predictions.
We will go first through games with playoff implications and then finish with games more related to draft positioning. Pittsburgh wins at Cleveland to complete the season sweep in a must-win for them. New York, in need of a win because of the Pittsburgh win, also secures a road victory over Buffalo to take the 6th playoff spot. Kansas City, while secured of a playoff spot, extends their win streak to 10 games to maximize their playoff positioning with a win over Oakland.
Indianapolis beats Tennessee to stay alive by a hair while Tennessee’s loss should secure them the first overall pick in next year’s draft. Houston, however, avoids complicated tiebreakers to win the division by beating Jacksonville.
Carolina gets back on track by beating Tampa Bay to secure the top seed, negating Arizona’s victory over Seattle. Green Bay continues their mastery of Minnesota, a team they haven’t lost to since 2012, and secures the division title with a win.
New England and Cincinnati win their early games which requires Denver to win their late game hosting San Diego, which they do, to give New England and Denver first round byes.
In the remaining five games without playoff implications, Dallas beats a Washington team resting for the playoffs, Detroit finishes strong with a road win at Chicago, St. Louis wins in possibly their final game representing that city, New York splits the season series with Philadelphia by winning this week’s game at home, and New Orleans sweeps the series against Atlanta with a win.
Week 16 summary:
Bing Predicts was 10-6 in Week 16, missing a handful of in-division upsets which included losses by Carolina, Pittsburgh, and Seattle, all of whom were largely expected to win given their more urgent need to do so over opponents out of the playoff race.
As noted earlier, the final weekend still involves much uncertainty, but given the predictions listed above, we foresee Carolina and New England securing the top seeds in their respective conferences with Arizona and Denver securing important first round byes as well. Green Bay hosts Seattle in a rematch of their Week 2 contest while Washington hosts Minnesota. Cincinnati hosts New York and Houston hosts Kansas City in the other conference’s wild cards.
– Walter Sun, Bing Predicts Team Lead