Thanks to BigRed and his post for inspiring me........
Obviously we want Cincinnati and New England to win. Would the Bengals even bother winning its game if it knows it could play the Jets at home in the Wild Card with a loss? Who knows, but I would think they would try to beat the Jets, secure the 3rd spot and avoid the Colts in the next round and possibly going to NE in the Championship (if both made it that far).
So, if the Pats win how can the Bengals secure the 3rd spot? Strength of Victory, here's how:
Tonight's game is important. We want Chicago to win! Cincinnati beat Chicago and lost to Minnesota so a Vikings win would hurt the Bengals.
In next week's game, the Atlanta V. Tampa game (unless it ends in a tie) will give the Pats one win and one loss (they beat each of the teams playing) and the Chicago V. Lions game is the same for the Bengals, one win and one loss.
We want all AFC North teams to win.
With those results, the Strength of Victory would stand at: Pats 75-97 and Bengals (depending on a Bengals win over the Jets next week and not counting tonight's game) 75-98.
Games that will affect the SoV of the Pats and Bengals, and who we want to win:
Minnesota @ Chicago (tonight)~~~~~~~~ Bears!
Green Bay @ Arizona
Kansas City @ Denver
Indy @ Buffalo (counts 2x)
Tennessee @ Seattle
New Orleans @ Carolina
Of the 7 outcomes of those games above, Cincinnati must have 5 of them fall their way (including all AFC North teams winning) to secure the tiebreaker over NE.
However, if NE beats Houston, we can always hope the 4 pm games fall to Oakland over Baltimore, then we don't have to worry about the Bengals. So obviously these games are the most important:
New England @ Houston
Pittsburgh @ Miami
Baltimore @ Oakland
Excellent! The Bears won last night!
The up-to-date SoV is:
New England 65-85