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BRONCOS, GIANTS AND COWBOYS ARE MASTERS OF THEIR FATES IN WEEK 17 OF THE NFL
Fri, 23 Dec 2011 07:18 AM EST

If they win, they pass to the playoffs as champions of their respective divisions.

That’s the easy scenario for the Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants for the next weekend. And while the Baltimore Ravens already have secured at least a pass as a wildcard team, a victory would give them the North Division of the AFC and the automatic pass to the second round of the playoffs. NFL lines

Denver and Oakland Raiders are tied atop the AFC North at 8-7. The Broncos host the Kansas City and San Diego Chargers visit Raiders on Sunday. If Denver loses and Oakland wins, the Broncos cannot get a wild card. NFL betting lines

The Raiders can take it if they and Denver win, as long as the Cincinnati Bengals and Tennessee Titans lose, or Cincinnati loses and the New York Jets win.

In the first place in the Eastern Division of the National Conference are Cowboys and the Giants, who meet in Week 17. A win or a tie gives the title to New York (8-7), and none of the teams can get a wild card.

The Ravens (11-4) swept the Pittsburgh Steelers this year, so that if they win at Cincinnati (9-6) they take the AFC North crown. If Baltimore loses, Pittsburgh (11-4) gets the division title and the automatic pass to the second round. Both teams already have secured at least the wild card

Cincinnati would take the other AFC wild card with a win over Baltimore, and could also get it despite losing if both the Jets and the Raiders are defeated, or if the Jets and Broncos both lose.

The New England Patriots (12-3) champions of the AFC East division and have an automatic pass to the second round, and if they win at home to the Buffalo Bills, they will get the home-court advantage in the playoffs conference. Even if they lose to the Bills, the team led by Tom Brady would also lose that advantage if both Baltimore and Pittsburgh. However, the Ravens and Steelers have edge over the Patriots for home-court advantage if they finish with the same record.

For the wild card, the Jets (8-7) need to win against the Miami Dolphins and the Bengals, Titans and Raiders all lose, or leaving beaten the Bengals, Titans and Broncos.

As for Tennessee (8-7), it needs to win at the Houston Texans’ home – AFC South Division champion – and have one of three variants to occur:
- losses by Cincinnati and Oakland, and a win by the Jets;
- losses by Cincinnati and Denver, and a win by the Jets;
- losses by Cincinnati and the Jets, and wins by Denver and Oakland.

In the NFC, the New Orleans Saints can secure the South Division if they beat the Atlanta Falcons, or with a victory over the Carolina Panthers in the final weekend of the regular season.

The Falcons (9-5) are also in excellent form to win the wild card and just need a win in the last two weeks. Atlanta hosts the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their last game of the season.

If the Falcons win and Saints lose, Atlanta wins the division and New Orleans gets a wild card.

New Orleans still has hopes of being exempt from the first round of the playoffs, but they must finish first.

The Detroit Lions already have one of the wild cards in the National and Chicago Bears (7-7) are still alive to reach the other one. But the Bears must win and the Falcons lose their two matches.


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