The NFL released official playoff scenarios for week 14, providing another benchmark that the 2014 regular season is inching closer to its inevitable conclusion.
The Indianapolis Colts can clinch the AFC South division with a win over the Cleveland Browns, along with a Houston Texans loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Or simply put: IND win plus HOU loss. If your indifferent soul (of blues) flips this weekend as irrelevant for AFC south title-claiming, know that the Jaguars swept Houston last year. In fact, the last time that Houston beat Jacksonville, it required an overtime win on Nov. 18, 2012... in Houston. There's a slight laugh there... Houston has been categorized within the group of disgust, which includes Pittsburgh and San Francisco. Go Jaguars!
The Denver Broncos can clinch a postseason berth, but nothing else. Their week 14 path is a bit more convoluted and requires every team in the AFC north to lose, save for the Bengals who are currently controlling first place and, if all goes to plan, won't factor in the wild card discussions at all. The idea here is wiping out the competition for Denver in terms of wild card placement. That's the clincher. If the Broncos lose every game after this weekend (and after clinching a postseason berth Sunday), the worst that they can do is the sixth seed (hence playoff berth).
Denver also needs losses by the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans or the San... actually, here:
Denver clinches a postseason berth with:
1) DEN win + BAL loss + PIT loss + CLE loss + KC loss + HOU loss or tie OR
2) DEN win + BAL loss + PIT loss + CLE loss + HOU loss or tie + SD loss + KC tie
A quick note while you are conjuring up tiebreakers... stop it. Unless another team in the AFC adds a tie to their overall record, Cincinnati won't need to factor tiebreakers. Because the Bengals tied the Panthers earlier this year, it's extraordinarily doubtful that Cincinnati finishes the season with an identical record with another team.