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Colts, Bengals, Redskins, Seahawks, Giants can clinch Sunday

New York Giants v Washington Redskins Getty Images

Four AFC teams have already clinched playoff berths, and the remaining two spots could be clinched on Sunday. In the NFC the playoff picture is more jumbled, but three different teams have a chance to clinch with a win and some help.

The NFL has confirmed that the Colts and Bengals are both in the AFC playoffs if they win on Sunday, while the Seahawks are in the NFC playoffs if they win. The Redskins and Giants both have their own playoff scenarios on Sunday, although both teams will need help to clinch this week.

Other teams that have already clinched playoff berths can clinch their divisions, first-round byes or home-field advantage throughout the conference playoffs. Here are the scenarios for every team:

Houston Texans: Clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs if they beat Minnesota, or if the Broncos and Patriots both lose.

Denver Broncos: Clinch a first-round playoff bye if they beat the Browns and the Patriots lose to the Jaguars.

Baltimore Ravens: Clinch the AFC North if they beat the Giants

Indianapolis Colts: Clinch a wild card spot if they beat the Chiefs, or if the Steelers lose to the Bengals. (It’s also possible that the Colts could clinch even if they lose to the Chiefs and the Steelers beat the Bengals, but that would involve the strength of victory tiebreaker, and we don’t want to make this too complicated.)

Cincinnati Bengals: Clinch a playoff spot if they beat the Steelers.

Atlanta Falcons: Clinch home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs if they beat the Lions, or if the Packers and 49ers both lose.

San Francisco 49ers: Clinch the NFC West if they beat the Seahawks. Can also clinch a first-round playoff by if they win and the Packers lose.

Washington Redskins: Clinch a playoff spot if they beat the Eagles and the Giants, Bears and Vikings all lose.

Seattle Seahawks: Clinch a playoff spot if they beat the 49ers. Can also clinch a playoff spot if they lose to the 49ers but would need the Bears, Vikings and Redskins all to lose.

New York Giants: Clinch a playoff spot if they beat the Ravens and the Bears, Vikings, Cowboys and Redskins all lose.

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46 Responses to “Colts, Bengals, Redskins, Seahawks, Giants can clinch Sunday”
  1. imissnumber21 says: Dec 18, 2012 1:04 PM

    Can’t the skins clinch the division if we win and the giants and cowboys lose?We would own tie breakers over them no matter what happens week 17.

    Michael David Smith: No. Under that scenario the Cowboys could still win a tiebreaker with the Redskins if the Cowboys were to win in Week 17.

  2. joetoronto says: Dec 18, 2012 1:09 PM

    “Cincinnati Bengals: Clinch a playoff spot if they beat the Steelers.”

    That one massive “IF”, considering they haven’t beaten the Steelers or Ravens in a God’s age.

  3. ccjcsr says: Dec 18, 2012 1:20 PM

    Too much is spent on the “What if”..”Just win out and make the dang playoffs!

  4. weepingjebus says: Dec 18, 2012 1:26 PM

    Don’t the Patriots play the Jags next, not the Dolphins? Or are these scenarios for the remainder of the regular season?

    Michael David Smith: You are right and that has been corrected. Thanks.

  5. jamaltimore says: Dec 18, 2012 1:28 PM

    I thought baltimore clinches with Cincy Loss?

    Michael David Smith: No — the Ravens could still lose a three-way tiebreaker in the AFC North if Baltimore loses out and Pittsburgh wins out, although the Ravens would still get in as a wild card in that scenario.

  6. 8man says: Dec 18, 2012 1:28 PM

    Ah, the drama! Gonna make for some good TV watching just a couple of days before Christmas.

    Some fans will enter Christmas eve with a playoff berth in their stockings, while others will have a “wait til next year” card.

  7. seahawks80 says: Dec 18, 2012 1:29 PM

    Seahawks will beat the 49ers…..chalk it up!

  8. macwomack says: Dec 18, 2012 1:32 PM

    MDS – well lets not get ahead of our selves if the redskins win…Mara will inact a rule to reduce their record and apply it to them retroactively.

  9. cutthajokes says: Dec 18, 2012 1:37 PM

    Can’t the skins clinch the division if we win and the giants and cowboys lose?We would own tie breakers over them no matter what happens week 17.

    Michael David Smith: No. Under that scenario the Cowboys could still win a tiebreaker with the Redskins if the Cowboys were to win in Week 17.

    A Redskins win this weekend would put them at 9-6, 4-1 in the Div and 7-4 in the Conf.

    If the Cowboys were to lose on Sunday. They would fall to 8-7, 3-4 in the Div and 5-6 in the Conf.

    How would the Cowboys still own the tiebreaker if they win week 17?

    Michael David Smith: you’ve got the records wrong.

  10. geauxjay says: Dec 18, 2012 1:41 PM

    I just hope that everything happens that would prevent NBC from flexing the Cowboys/Redskins game next week. I am tired of the NFC East.

  11. rtant2013 says: Dec 18, 2012 1:43 PM

    I don’t even want the Redskins to get in like that, I want them to make a statement and win 7 straight, show everyone that we are going to be a tough competitor in the playoffs. But I wouldn’t complain if they went ahead and got in this week, I don’t see the Giants losing to the Ravens though, and the Bears have the Cards but they are in self destruct mode so you never know.

  12. logicalvoicesays says: Dec 18, 2012 1:47 PM

    The Cowboys have no chance vs God’s team at FedEx Field. God’s team is winning the NFC East and going to the Superbowl.

  13. antoniosc79 says: Dec 18, 2012 1:53 PM

    “Can’t the skins clinch the division if we win and the giants and cowboys lose?We would own tie breakers over them no matter what happens week 17.

    Michael David Smith: No. Under that scenario the Cowboys could still win a tiebreaker with the Redskins if the Cowboys were to win in Week 17.”

    This doesnt make sense. If the Skins beat Philly, they go to 9-6 and 4-1 in the division. If the Cowboys and Giants both lose, they fall to 8-7. Both of those teams, at best, can finish 3-3 in the division. Under this scenario, even if the skins lose to Dallas in week 17, and the Giants win, all three would finish at 9-7 and the Skins would win due to better conference record. So, Skins beat Philly, Giants and Dallas both lose, Skins are the division champs.

  14. garrisjs says: Dec 18, 2012 1:53 PM

    If Washington wins and Dallas and the Giants both lose this week, the standings would look like this:

    Wash: 9-6 overall, 7-4 vs NFC, 4-1 vs Division

    Dal: 8-7 overall, 5-6 vs NFC, 3-2 vs Division

    NYG: 8-7 overall, 7-4 vs NFC, 2-3 vs Division

    Redskins would win the NFC East because even if they lost to Dallas the next week the Skins would have the same Overall record, the same Division record, but a superior NFC record.

  15. jwreck says: Dec 18, 2012 1:55 PM

    joetoronto says: Dec 18, 2012 1:09 PM

    “Cincinnati Bengals: Clinch a playoff spot if they beat the Steelers.”

    That one massive “IF”, considering they haven’t beaten the Steelers or Ravens in a God’s age.
    _________
    Cincinnati lost to the Ravens and Steelers by one score in three of the four matchups in 2011, and subsequently exited the playoffs in the same round as the Steelers. Additionally, they went one and one with the Ravens two seasons ago.

    Not a fan of the Bengals at all, and I’m generally pretty opposed to the entire state of Ohio. But I am a big fan of giving credit where credit is due to improving franchises, especially ones that have been bad for such a long time.

    I’m not a big fan of John Mara either, but his ideas about parity and competitiveness have a glimmer of intelligence behind them. It always confuses me why any football fan would want the Browns, Rams, Redskins, Bills, or Bengals to continue being as bad as they’ve been for the last two decades (sorry St. Louis- “decade”). When bad teams get better, the NFL gets better.
    Think about how psyched everyone was to watch Houston/New England last week (sure it ended up being a lousy game, but that’s not the point). Now, imagine if every game could be as intriguing of a matchup: if Cleveland/Cincy was as much of a primetime game as Green Bay/Chicago.

    Now I might be an idiot, and I’m definitely starting to ramble, but the point is: (with the possible exception of the Dallas Cowboys) real football fans shouldn’t cheer on, or hope for, the decline/continued shoddiness of any NFL team.

  16. manilarizzo says: Dec 18, 2012 2:02 PM

    garrisjs says:
    Dec 18, 2012 1:53 PM
    If Washington wins and Dallas and the Giants both lose this week, the standings would look like this:

    Wash: 9-6 overall, 7-4 vs NFC, 4-1 vs Division

    Dal: 8-7 overall, 5-6 vs NFC, 3-2 vs Division

    NYG: 8-7 overall, 7-4 vs NFC, 2-3 vs Division

    Redskins would win the NFC East because even if they lost to Dallas the next week the Skins would have the same Overall record, the same Division record, but a superior NFC record.

    I approve this analysis. Seems several others saying the same thing. Bears obviously don’t play into this Division Win scenario. Not sure where the disconnect is Michael. Can you punch a hole in this one?

    Michael David Smith: NFC record isn’t the third tiebreaker. Record against common opponents is.

  17. soforizo says: Dec 18, 2012 2:06 PM

    Thanks for answering some of the user posted scenarios Michael. It helped answer my few remaining questions.

  18. gmen8timeworldchamps says: Dec 18, 2012 2:08 PM

    garrisjs is wrong because the Skins lose a three way tie at 9-7. Therefore, they can not clinch the division this weekend. The tiebreakers for a three way tie are in this order: (from NFL.com)
    Head to Head
    Division record
    Common games ( Dallas wins this tie breaker)
    Conference record

  19. sellout3871 says: Dec 18, 2012 2:09 PM

    @jwreck

    From the sound of it you’ve never seen joetoronto on here before. Get used to this stuff from him. This dude has dedicated his entire life to hating the Bengals on the PTF message board.

  20. bengalsneedagm says: Dec 18, 2012 2:09 PM

    “Cincinnati Bengals: Clinch a playoff spot if they beat the Steelers.”

    “That one massive “IF”, considering they haven’t beaten the Steelers or Ravens in a God’s age.”

    Uh, unless of course you don’t consider 2009 – when the Bengals swept both the Ravens and Steelers, to be “a God’s age”?

  21. cosanostra71 says: Dec 18, 2012 2:09 PM

    Let’s go Niners! Gonna be a tough game to win on Sunday, but I believe!

  22. hamskin says: Dec 18, 2012 2:09 PM

    Conference record is not the next tie breaker. It actually goes to common opponents redskins and cowboys play the same schedule except for two games cowboys would have a better common opponents record because the two games they played different skins went 1-1 and cowboys went 0-2 meaning if it goes to that tiebreaker cowboys win

  23. ninerhatersgetready4ring6 says: Dec 18, 2012 2:11 PM

    @Seahawks80

    Man you sure are confident. Tell when was the last time the Hawks beat the Niners? Let me save you some time Sept 2010 when Singletary was coaching. The Niners have won 4 in a row since that time period and Harbaugh has never lost to Pete Carroll in the NFL as the Niners coach. This will be a good game but the Niners having to win out to get the #2 seed they will show up ready to play.
    The Hawks concern should be if Sherman is suspended on Friday, you will have Browner, Sherman, Thurmond and the other second string corner out. I know you not gonna play rookie Jeremy Lane on Moss and Crabtree. Should be interesting…

  24. eryeal says: Dec 18, 2012 2:15 PM

    I can punch a hole – the 3rd tiebreak isn’t NFC record, it is record against all teams commonly played against. Dallas has this wrapped up.

  25. vicnocal says: Dec 18, 2012 2:15 PM

    No sense whatsoever in even trying to figure this stuff out right now. Just let the games play out. For all we know, Seattle (as strong as they are looking right now) loses its last 2 games and doesn’t even make the playoffs.

  26. hamskin says: Dec 18, 2012 2:17 PM

    Conference record is not the next tie breaker. It actually goes to common opponents redskins and cowboys play the same schedule except for two games cowboys would have a better common opponents record because the two games they played different skins went 1-1 and cowboys went 0-2 meaning if it goes to that tiebreaker cowboys win. Sucks but just win skins httr!!

  27. dwjdick says: Dec 18, 2012 2:19 PM

    Eryeal is dead on. Cowboys are +3 on common opponents (CAR, CIN, PIT) vs Skins +1 (BAL).

  28. yazzy14mu says: Dec 18, 2012 2:23 PM

    The Giants have the ability to clinch or to be eliminated, don’t they?

    If they lose while the Redskins, Cowboys, and Seahawks win it would eliminate the Giants because they wouldn’t be able to get the second wildcard spot over either of their NFC East rivals.

  29. manilarizzo says: Dec 18, 2012 2:30 PM

    Michael David Smith: NFC record isn’t the third tiebreaker. Record against common opponents is.

    eryeal says:
    Dec 18, 2012 2:15 PM
    I can punch a hole – the 3rd tiebreak isn’t NFC record, it is record against all teams commonly played against. Dallas has this wrapped up.

    Thanks guys. Completely missed that. It’s 3:30am in Manila.

  30. seahawks4alltime says: Dec 18, 2012 2:40 PM

    The Seahawks have played really well and have improved so much over the year. This year has been a good one for me as a Seahawks fan.

    This Sunday night game will be a big test of Russell Wilson and the young Seahawks team. If they can win this then the season has been a success regardless of all else. If they lose then it has been a very very good run and they should still hold their heads high.

    But I’m still hoping for a Green Bay Seahawks rematch so that everyone can put the fail mary thing behind them.

  31. bigbenh8tr says: Dec 18, 2012 2:48 PM

    logicalvoicesays says: Dec 18, 2012 1:47 PM

    The Cowboys have no chance vs God’s team at FedEx Field. God’s team is winning the NFC East and going to the Superbowl.
    _____________________________________
    I predict a THIRD injury in ONE season keeps Griffin from finishing this season in one peace. Great pick, mighty risky. Enjoy watching him play 50%-75% of every season.

    I’ll take 100% of ROMO over that ANY day. Love RG3s talent, don’t like injuries and hope he can play healthy, simply looks like another Vick despite his intelligence.

  32. daknight93 says: Dec 18, 2012 3:03 PM

    The last 2 weeks will be filled with drama as teams fight for playoff spots..I am so pumped and ready to see how these games turn out.

  33. falstaff1962 says: Dec 18, 2012 3:15 PM

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but in theory where are the Vikings in all of this? If they win out (which I doubt) then they wind up 10-6. If the Giants, Cowboys and Redskins wind up all at 9-7, then wouldn’t the Vikings have the #6 seed?

  34. stevincinci says: Dec 18, 2012 3:21 PM

    First things first of course, but not many are mentioning that if the Ravens lose out and the Bengals win out, Bengals win the division at 10-6, Ravens a wildcard at 9-7. Yes, it’s true and could happen.

  35. karlpilkington says: Dec 18, 2012 3:22 PM

    You stupid Cowboy fans keep looking past the Saints. I can only hope your team is as stupid as you are, and all of this will be a bunch of nothing.

  36. cmgww says: Dec 18, 2012 3:56 PM

    Colts going to playoffs despite a pretty much brand new team, new coach that got cancer, new GM, 5 rookies starting on offense, a scrap heap o line, a defense made up of mostly cast-offs and backups, tons of injuries…. am I missing anything? On yeah, ranked DEAD LAST by most preseason “pundits”. Best story in the NFL this season. If they were on the East Coast ESPN would have driven this thing into the ground by now.

  37. pemory says: Dec 18, 2012 4:05 PM

    Many thanks for the playoff scenarios. Best time of the football season trying to figure all of the permutations, eh?

  38. deeppurple13 says: Dec 18, 2012 4:25 PM

    Fellas, you are all forgeting one thing. Unless someone locks AP in a room, the Vikes are going to win their last 2 games and throw a purple wrench into this debate…

    I take that back, you would have to lock him up in a bank safe, as he would bust out of most anywhere my imagination can think of. Beast.

  39. cuzenz says: Dec 18, 2012 4:57 PM

    Can’t believe no one is giving the Vikes a chance. Houston will be tough but we can beat GB at home. We shoulda beat them in GB but Ponder threw it away. We’re a different team at home. SKOL VIKINGS!

  40. joetoronto says: Dec 18, 2012 5:54 PM

    sellout3871 says: Dec 18, 2012 2:09 PM

    @jwreck

    From the sound of it you’ve never seen joetoronto on here before. Get used to this stuff from him. This dude has dedicated his entire life to hating the Bengals on the PTF message board.
    ************************************************
    When and if the Bengals ever win a divisional game that puts them in the playoffs, I’ll be right here giving them kudo’s.

    It would be a small step in the grand scheme of things, but it would be a first step for a team that looks to me to be a pretender, yet again.

  41. mikebrownistheworstownerinprosports says: Dec 18, 2012 6:10 PM

    @jwreck:

    I appreciate what your saying, but the Bengals haven’t exactly been a doormat. Since 2005, the Bengals have 3 playoff appearences (going for a 4th now) and 2 AFC north titles. Our defense has been ranked top 10 four times. The Bengals have had some regular season success, we just need to sustain it and start winning in the playoffs (0-3 under Marvin Lewis).

  42. bertj786 says: Dec 18, 2012 6:31 PM

    If Giants loose this week which they most likely will since the Ravens want to clinch the division and then the Giants win next week will they be the wild card?

    Youd have to figure the Redskins would win this week and the Cowboys would loose the next 2 weeks so the Giants would be the wildcard and the cowboys eliminated and Redskins would win the division does this sound right?

  43. kev86 says: Dec 18, 2012 7:48 PM

    Giants will clinch this weekend. The champs will go 6-0 and repeat.

  44. seahawkfan4evr says: Dec 18, 2012 8:26 PM

    it should be such a good game this weekend. I can not wait to see how russel plays in his second start against the niners. receivers had the drops last time if they can catch his passes this time i expect a great game from him. Get ready niners you aint seen nothing yet.

    GO SEAHAWKS!!!

  45. S.Nevada says: Dec 18, 2012 8:56 PM

    Question:

    Since Washington and Dallas are basically playing for the division next weekend, will you start referring to the game as the Mara-Bowl? Fans of both teams would love you for it.

  46. redskin3310 says: Dec 18, 2012 10:25 PM

    Looking forward to the #4 seed Redskins taking on the #5 seed Seahawks in Washington, on the opening weekend of the playoffs. It will be the best game that weekend.

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