Week 15 NFL playoff-clinching scenarios

Several teams can either improve their playoff positioning or clinch a spot with the games this weekend.

With three games left, the playoff scenarios are flying fast and furious as several teams can clinch a playoff spot if the dominoes fall right for them. In the AFC, three teams can either clinch a spot or improve their current spot. In the NFC, the same holds true with five teams.

Here are the scenarios as laid out by the NFL:

AFC

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (vs. Tennessee, Sunday)

Already clinched the AFC East

New England clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. NE win + DEN loss OR
  2. NE win + CIN loss + DEN tie

CINCINNATI BENGALS (at San Francisco, Sunday)

Cincinnati clinches AFC North division with:

  1. CIN win or tie + PIT tie OR
  2. PIT loss

Cincinnati clinches a playoff spot with:

  1. CIN win OR
  2. NYJ loss OR
  3. KC loss OR
  4. CIN tie + KC tie OR
  5. CIN tie + NYJ tie

DENVER BRONCOS (at Pittsburgh, Sunday)

Denver clinches AFC West division with:

  1. DEN win + KC loss or tie OR
  2. DEN tie + KC loss

Denver clinches a playoff spot with:

  1. DEN win  OR
  2. DEN tie + NYJ loss

NFC

CAROLINA PANTHERS (at New York Giants, Sunday)

Already clinched the NFC South and a first-round bye

Carolina clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

  1. CAR win + ARI loss or tie OR
  2. CAR tie + ARI loss

ARIZONA CARDINALS (at Philadelphia, Sunday night)

Already clinched a playoff berth

Arizona clinches NFC West division with:

  1. ARI win or tie OR
  2. SEA loss or tie OR

ARI clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over SEA

(Note: ARI clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over SEA in scenario 3 if all of the following occurs: CIN win, NO win, DAL loss, PIT loss)

Arizona clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. ARI win + GB loss or tie OR
  2. ARI tie + GB loss

GREEN BAY PACKERS (at Oakland, Sunday)

Green Bay clinches a playoff spot with:

  1. GB win or tie OR
  2. TB loss or tie + WAS loss or tie OR
  3. TB loss or tie + NYG loss or tie

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (vs. Cleveland, Sunday)

Seattle clinches a playoff spot with:

  1. SEA win + TB loss or tie + NYG loss or tie OR
  2. SEA win + TB loss or tie + WAS loss or tie OR
  3. SEA win + TB loss or tie + ATL loss or tie + MIN loss + GB win or tie OR
  4. SEA tie + TB loss + ATL loss or tie + NYG loss OR
  5. SEA tie + TB loss + ATL loss or tie + WAS loss + PHI loss or tie

MINNESOTA VIKINGS (vs. Chicago, Sunday)

Minnesota clinches a playoff spot with:

  1. MIN win + TB loss or tie + WAS loss or tie + ATL loss or tie OR
  2. MIN win + TB loss or tie + WAS loss or tie + SEA loss or tie OR
  3. MIN win + TB loss or tie + NYG loss or tie + ATL loss or tie OR
  4. MIN win + TB loss or tie + NYG loss or tie + SEA loss or tie OR
  5. MIN tie + TB loss + ATL loss or tie + PHI loss or tie + WAS loss OR
  6. MIN tie + TB loss + ATL loss or tie + PHI loss or tie + NYG loss OR
  7. MIN tie + TB loss + ATL loss or tie + WAS loss or tie + NYG loss or tie (as long as WAS and NYG both don’t tie)

 


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