Week 15 Elimination Scenarios, 2023 Variety

TheCardinal

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The Packers' loss to the Giants on Monday night gives the Cardinals a few more outs in their quest for the Super Bowl. But by opening up a few additional pathways to the playoffs (the Cardinals could still mathematically even get the 6-seed) this has led to an ugly convoluted knot of potential elimination scenarios given all the remaining head-to-head games among the teams currently in front of Arizona. CAUTION: the following is not for the faint of heart.

For Week 15, the Cardinals would be mathematically eliminated from playoff contention with any of the following:

A) Cardinals loss
-OR-
B) Rams win + Vikings win
-OR-
C) Rams win + Packers win
-OR-
D) Vikings win + Bears win + Falcons win + Packers win + Saints win
-OR-
E) Vikings win + Bears win + Falcons win + Buccaneers win + Giants win
CORRECTION: this would NOT eliminate the Cardinals (Giants/Rams could tie in Week 17).

NEW Scenario: Rams win + Saints win + Falcons win + Bears win

I didn't work out all the scenarios with games ending in a draw, though generally they would hurt the Cardinals (except in a Rams draw) since we would win most other 7-10 tie-breakers, even against the Giants and Commanders as most scenarios have MANY teams clustered at 7-10 negating their head-to-head wins over us and shifting the tie-breaker to strength-of-victory which we would most likely win.

Scenarios D and E are strange in that they involve conflicting outcomes in two of the same games (GB/TB and NO/NYG). For those eager to see the "Always Sunny" conspiracy board about this, I'll explain in another post.

Of course, it's possible I left off a few scenarios and so will edit once the professionals at NFL headquarters post theirs. Enjoy!
 
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TheCardinal

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Scenario D: Vikings win (8) + Bears win (6) + Falcons win (7) + Packers win (7) + Saints win (7). This Vikings would take one of the two remaining spots with their 8th win. Since the Rams would then have to lose out, this gives an additional win to the Saints (8), who would then have to win the South. Also, the Packers (7) would need to lose their last three, giving an additional win to the Bears (7). The Falcons (7) still have to play the Bears (7) and thus the winner would be out of reach for the Cardinals.

Scenario E: Vikings win (8) + Bears win (6) + Falcons win (7) + Buccaneers win (7) + Giants win (6). The Vikings would take one of the two remaining spots with their 8th win. Since the Rams would then have to lose out, this gives additional wins to the Saints (7) and Giants (7). Since the Saints (7) still have to play both the Bucs (7) and Falcons (7), New Orleans would have to win the South with the Bucs and Falcons finishing 7-10. The Falcons would have to lose to the Bears (7) and the Bears would have to lose to the Packers (7). This is the one mega-tie that doesn't favor the Cardinals. The Giants would get in at 7-10, with the two teams that could have saved Arizona at 7-10 (Bucs and Bears) covered up within their divisions (by Falcons and Packers, respectively). CORRECTION: The Cardinals would NOT be mathematically eliminated in Scenario E since the Giants and Rams could play to a draw in Week 17.

If the Packers and Giants win those games next week, then Atlanta could win the South and the Cardinals get into a more favorable 7-10 tie with the Giants (with the Bucs and Bears winning their divisional tie-breakers and pushing the tie-breaker to strength-of-victory).

If the Buccaneers and Saints win those games next week, then New Orleans could win the South and the Giants wouldn't be forced into the 7-10 mega-tie, allowing the Cardinals to win the tie-breaker.

Of note, the Seahawks and Commanders do not factor into our elimination scenarios this week, though they would ultimately need to lose games if we are going to catch them.
 
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TheCardinal

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Mathematically I could win the lottery but it ain't happening lol. Damn dude, I give you props if you did all that research & didn't copy it from some website.
The official ones aren't out yet (there are actually some people that work through all the potential tied games as well -- pure insanity even by my standards!). Our elimination scenarios with the Packers beating the Giants were pretty straightforward. I worked out the scenarios with the Packers losing to the Giants while I had the game on in the background -- it was just one rabbit hole after another... I had to see it through once I got in too deep!
 
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TheCardinal

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CORRECTION: Scenario E (Vikings win + Bears win + Falcons win + Buccaneers win + Giants win) would NOT mathematically eliminate the Cardinals since the Giants and Rams could play to a draw in Week 17. The Cardinals would be 7-10 with the Giants and Rams both at 6-10-1.

Without even having played a game in Week 15, one of the five elimination scenarios is already off the board. Now we can all breathe easier.
 
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TheCardinal

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Looks like they’ve updated the Week 15 scenarios at nflplayoffscenarios.com. There was one more elimination scenario that I missed (other than the ones requiring ties):

Rams win + Saints win + Falcons win + Bears win.

This would imply losses by the Vikings and Packers (which would meet other elimination criteria), an assumed win by Tampa Bay over GB, and a later win by the Bears over GB . With all three South teams at 7 wins, the Saints would have to win the division but then the Chicago/Atlanta winner (8) would be out of our reach.
 

Brian in Mesa

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I think it is crazy that we have not yet been mathematically eliminated. Imagine if we had beaten both the Commanders and Giants, like we nearly did and should have.
 

WisconsinCard

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Looks like they’ve updated the Week 15 scenarios at nflplayoffscenarios.com. There was one more elimination scenario that I missed (other than the ones requiring ties):

Rams win + Saints win + Falcons win + Bears win.

This would imply losses by the Vikings and Packers (which would meet other elimination criteria), an assumed win by Tampa Bay over GB, and a later win by the Bears over GB . With all three South teams at 7 wins, the Saints would have to win the division but then the Chicago/Atlanta winner (8) would be out of our reach.
Thanks for all the work Doc. It's always fun reading these threads every year.
 
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TheCardinal

TheCardinal

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Vikings lose in Cincinnati. The Cardinals' path to the playoffs is marginally improved.

Updated elimination scenarios for Week 15:

A) Cardinals loss
-OR-
B) Rams win + Packers win
-OR-
C) Rams win + Saints win + Falcons win + Bears win
 
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TheCardinal

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The Falcons and Packers lost. The Cardinals have at least the received the minimum amount of help. If the Cardinals beat San Francisco, they avoid elimination for another week.
 
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