NFL playoffs: Possible scenarios

The NFL logo in the middle of the football field during the New York Giants and the New York Jets game.

(Courtesy of Creative Commons)

The NFL logo in the middle of the football field during the New York Giants and the New York Jets game.

     For the 2021-2022 National Football League (NFL) season there was a new agreement that they will take off a pre-season game and add one more season game, making 17 games instead of 16. 

     With the NFL doing this it has made a lot of playoff scenarios, such as making the last game of the regular season interesting. Due to the last game of the season, having teams resting their starters like the quarterback and put in the backup in so the starter does not get injured. 

     There will be teams doing that, such as the Green Bay Packers because they have already clinched the playoffs. However, there are teams that will play the last game of the season and it will decide if they make the playoffs or not. 

     One of the AFC teams is the Los Angeles Chargers. Right now the Chargers are in the playoffs at the number 7 spot. If they want to stay in the playoffs all they have to do is win their last game or tie against the Las Vegas Raiders. 

     If they tie against the Raiders, and the Indianapolis Colts lose then the Raiders and Chargers will be in the playoffs. They can purposely tie so they can both make it, however, fans will have to find out on this upcoming Sunday. 

     An NFC team that is not in the playoffs but may be able to still make it is the New Orleans Saints. At the beginning of the season, they started off hot with them being 5-1 and beating three playoff teams, which are the Packers, New England Patriots, and the Tampabay Buccaneers, however, their winning streak soon changed.

     The Saints would go on a six-game losing streak, although they soon turned it around with the Saints winning three out of four games, with one of those games being against the Buccaneers.

     The only way they can get in the playoffs is if the Saints win and the San Francisco Forty-Niners lose but the problem is they are playing against the number one team in their division, the Los Angeles Rams.

     If the Rams lose and the Arizona Cardinals win, then the Cardinals will be number one in their conference and move the Rams to the wildcard position.

     Another AFC team that is not in the playoffs is the Pittsburgh Steelers who recently played on Monday, January 3. Along with this, their starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger announced his retirement after this season.

     If Steelers want to make the playoffs, they would need to beat the Baltimore Ravens and have the Colts lose to Jacksonville Jaguars, which would be likely due to the fact that the Colts have not won against the Jaguars since 2014, Along with this, in order for the Steelers to win the Chargers and Raiders can’t tie. 

     If all of that happens, Pittsburgh will make the playoffs and Roethlisberger will have a chance to win the Super Bowl in his last season just like Peyton Manning back in 2015.

     With all of those scenarios and theories, there are still more with multiple other teams. The only other two spots in the AFC and the NFC are wild cards, so fans who are anxious and excited will have to see what ends up happening.