NFL playoff-clinching scenarios: Week 16

Plenty is on the line in Week 16 for several playoff-hopeful teams and others that are looking to improve their playoff positioning.

Four teams in the NFC and two teams in the AFC have clinched at least a playoff berth, with a couple of first-round byes already in their coffers.

Here is how the playoff landscape looks, per the NFL, as the page turns from Week 15 to preparation for Week 16.

AFC

CLINCHED

New England – AFC East and a first-round bye

Cincinnati – playoff berth

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (at New York Jets, Sunday)

New England clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:

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

CINCINNATI BENGALS (at Denver, Monday)

Cincinnati clinches AFC North division with:

  1. CIN win or tie OR
  2. PIT loss or tie
  3. Cincinnati clinches a first-round bye with:
  4. CIN win or tie

DENVER BRONCOS (vs. Cincinnati, Monday)

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 + NYJ loss or tie  OR
  2. DEN win + PIT loss or tie OR
  3. DEN tie + NYJ loss OR
  4. DEN tie + PIT loss

HOUSTON TEXANS (at Tennessee, Sunday)

Houston clinches AFC South division with:

  1. HOU win + HOU clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over IND OR
  2. HOU win + IND loss or tie OR
  3. HOU tie + IND loss

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (vs. Cleveland, Sunday)  

Kansas City clinches a playoff spot with:

  1. KC win + NYJ loss OR
  2. KC win + PIT loss

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (at Baltimore, Sunday)

Pittsburgh clinches a playoff spot with:

  1. PIT win + NYJ loss

 

NFC

CLINCHED

Carolina – NFC South and a first-round bye

Arizona – NFC West

Green Bay – playoff berth

Seattle – playoff berth

CAROLINA PANTHERS (at Atlanta, Sunday)

Carolina clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

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

ARIZONA CARDINALS (vs. Green Bay, Sunday)

Arizona clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. ARI win or tie

GREEN BAY PACKERS (at Arizona, Sunday)

Green Bay clinches NFC North division with:

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

MINNESOTA VIKINGS (vs. New York Giants, Sunday night)

Minnesota clinches a playoff spot with:

  1. MIN win or tie OR
  2. ATL loss or tie OR
  3. SEA win or tie

WASHINGTON REDSKINS (at Philadelphia, Saturday)

Washington clinches NFC East division with:

  1. WAS win OR
  2. WAS tie + NYG loss

 


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