FeaturedThe Friday 5

The Friday 5: December 7th

By January 7, 2022 No Comments

NFC Playoff Scenarios

It’s Week 18 (still sounds weird) of in the NFL, and playoff spots are at stake. Let’s start with the NFC.

Who’s In

Green Bay Packers – No. 1 seed and first-round bye

Los Angeles Rams  

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – NFC South Champs

Dallas Cowboys – NFC East Champs

Arizona Cardinals 

Philadelphia Eagles – Wild Card

Who Wants In

The San Francisco 49ers and the New Orleans Saints want the final Wild Card spot. The 49ers can get it with a win over the Rams – who are playing to win the NFC West – or with a Saints loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Even if the Saints win, they need the 49ers to lose to get in.

NFC West

The Cardinals can win the NFC West with a win over the Seattle Seahawks and a Rams loss, while the Rams can clinch it with a win over the 49ers or a Cardinals loss.

My head is spinning, and we haven’t gotten to the AFC yet. 

AFC Playoff Scenarios to Clinch a Spot

Now for the American Football Conference, where things are even more up for grabs. 

Who’s In

Tennessee Titans – AFC South Champs

Kansas City Chiefs – AFC West Champs

Cincinnati Bengals – AFC North Champs

Buffalo Bills

New England Patriots

Who Wants In and How They Can Get There

Baltimore Ravens – win AND losses by the Colts, Chargers and Dolphins. Ummm, good luck.
Indianapolis Colts win or losses by Steelers and the Chargers plus a Dolphins win (Recommendation: Beat the Jaguars)
Las Vegas Raiders – Win over the Chargers or tie with the Chargers and a Colts loss or losses from the Colts and Steelers (my above recommendation stands)
Los Angeles Chargers – Win or tie
Pittsburgh Steelers – Win and Colts loss and the Chargers-Raiders game doesn’t end in a tie


Who Gets to Chant, “We’re No. 1!” in the AFC?

No. 1 Seed and First-Round Bye
Right now, the Tennessee Titans have it. If they want to keep it (spoiler: they do), they have to beat the Houston Texans, or they need the Chiefs, Bengals and Patriots to lose, or the Chiefs and Bengals to lose and the Bills to win. The AFC West-champion Kansas City Chiefs can take the top seed with a win and a Titans loss, while the AFC North-champion Bengals can do it with a win and losses by the Titans, Chiefs and Patriots or a win and losses by the Titans and Chiefs and a Bills win. 

Now would be a good time to breathe because there’s more. The New England Patriots can get it with a win and losses by the Bills, Titans and Chiefs.

Last thing – The AFC East

The Buffalo Bills can be crowned AFC East Champions with a win or a Patriots loss, while the Patriots can win the division with a win and a Bills loss.

J.J. Watt

The Arizona Cardinals have some good news, as they head into the playoffs. Defensive lineman J.J. Watt was designated to return from injured reserve on Friday. Watt can practice with the team beginning on Friday and can be activated to the roster any time during the next three weeks. All of this means that the Cardinals can potentially have their guy back for the playoffs.

Watt suffered a shoulder injury on October 24 and had what was believed to be season-ending surgery, so this would be a very welcome comeback for Kliff Kingsbury and the Cardinals, who have lost three of their last five games.


Lamar Jackson Out for the Ravens

As mentioned in a previous slide, the Baltimore Ravens playoff chances are slim at best, and they just got slimmer, as quarterback Lamar Jackson will miss his fourth straight game with the right ankle injury he suffered on December 12. Tyler Huntley will be the man under center.

The Ravens have lost five in a row and are at-risk of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2017.


So Where and When Can I Watch this Weekend’s Games?

Great questions and we’ve got the answers. Behold the weekend’s NFL schedule. Grab those snacks. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.


4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos (ESPN, ABC, ESPN+)

8:15 p.m. ET/5:15 p.m. PT

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (ESPN, ABC, ESPN+)


1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT
Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions
Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings
Washington Football Team at New York Giants
Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans

4:25 p.m. ET/1:25 p.m. PT
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills
San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

8:20 p.m. ET/5:20 p.m. PT
Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders

Tracy Sandler

Tracy Sandler

I created Fangirl Sports Network as a place for female sports fans to follow their favorite teams with content and coverage that speaks directly to females. It started with one and then eight and now 32 NFL Fangirls and 15 NBA Fangirls.