Week 13 of the NFL season could be lucky for up to five teams.
In the coming days, the Texans, Ravens, Patriots, Broncos, and Falcons can each clinch playoff berths.
For the Pats, it’s simple: Win and they’re in, via the AFC East crown.
For the Texans, a win or a tie gets it done. Also, the Texans back in with a loss and: (1) a Dolphins loss or tie and a Steelers loss or tie; or (2) a Dolphins loss or tie and a Bengals loss or tie; or (3) a Steelers loss and a Bengals loss.
The Ravens can win the AFC North with a victory and a Bengals loss. Also, Baltimore can secure a playoff berth (but not the division), with a win or a tie combined with a Bengals loss and a Dolphins loss or tie.
The Broncos win the AFC West with a win, or with a Chargers loss or tie.
The Falcons win the NFC South with a win and a Bucs loss or tie, or with a tie and a Bucs loss. Atlanta secures a playoff berth with a win and a Seahawks loss or tie, or Falcons tie and losses by the Seahawks and Vikings.
The fact that five teams can get in this week, when only one had a chance in Week 12, highlights the separation that occurred via wins by every division leader (except, technically, the Packers), and losses by every second-place team (except, technically, the Bears).