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Nine teams have playoff-clinching scenarios this week

Cam Newton, Akiem Hicks AP

In a Week 16 schedule packed with games that have playoff implications, nine teams have a chance at clinching postseason berths.

The NFL has released all of the playoff scenarios for Week 16, and they show that the Seahawks, Broncos, Chiefs and Colts are already in the playoffs, while the Patriots, Bengals, Ravens, Dolphins, Saints, Panthers, 49ers, Eagles and Bears all have clinching scenarios this week.

(Yes, that’s 13 teams and only 12 teams make the playoffs. Obviously, some of those clinching scenarios are mutually exclusive.)

Here’s a quick rundown of what each team with a clinching scenario needs to do:

Denver clinches the AFC West and a first-round bye with a win and a Kansas City loss, and clinches home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a win, a Kansas City loss and a New England loss.

New England clinches the AFC East with a win or a Miami loss. New England also clinches a first-round bye with a win and losses by Cincinnati and Indianapolis. And New England can clinch a playoff spot even with a loss this week, if Cincinnati also loses.

Cincinnati clinches the AFC North with a win and a Baltimore loss. Cincinnati clinches a playoff spot with a win and a Miami loss.

Baltimore clinches a playoff spot with a win, a Miami loss and a San Diego loss.

Miami clinches a playoff spot with a win, a Baltimore loss and a Cincinnati loss.

Seattle clinches the NFC West and home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with a win or a San Francisco loss.

New Orleans clinches NFC South division and a first-round bye with a win. New Orleans can also clinch a playoff spot even with a loss, as long as Arizona also loses.

Carolina clinches a playoff spot with a win, or with losses by both Arizona and San Francisco.

San Francisco clinches a playoff spot with a win or an Arizona loss.

Philadelphia clinches the NFC East with a win and a Dallas loss.

Chicago clinches the NFC North with a win, a Detroit loss and a Green Bay loss.

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56 Responses to “Nine teams have playoff-clinching scenarios this week”
  1. thepftpoet says: Dec 17, 2013 12:28 PM

    The red-hot Vikings have a chance to give the Ravens the AFC north with a win over Cincinnati, which is very possible.

    Thank us later

    Sincerely, the other purple team.

  2. ravanator says: Dec 17, 2013 12:42 PM

    Ravens have already clinched the AFCN, and they also have clinched back to back Superbowl victories. All other teams pail in comparison to the mighty Ravens.

    #ravensrepeat
    #youenvyourtworings

  3. heyguru1969 says: Dec 17, 2013 12:47 PM

    The Jets clinch a playoff spot with losses by every other NFL team, and if the Mayan Calendar was off by a year and the world actually ends Dec. 21st, 2013. Alternate scenario, Hell freezes over.

  4. 12strikes says: Dec 17, 2013 12:49 PM

    Your forgot one:
    Dallas: Hell freezing over and Pig Flying

  5. theworkhorsebackdotcom says: Dec 17, 2013 12:49 PM

    This could be the first season that the Ravens don’t make it to the playoffs under Harbough

  6. cjspiller12 says: Dec 17, 2013 12:50 PM

    Cross Miami off the list………..Buffalo will beat them this weekend. Just like the last time. Buffalo’s Def will have a field day with sacks against that offensive line for Miami. Just like last time!!

  7. bengalguy says: Dec 17, 2013 12:53 PM

    Pathetic Vikings have absolutely ZERO chance of beating the Bengals in Cincy.
    Bengals are undefeated @ home and NOBODY runs on us! Even AP. No your role Purple Shoehorns…..bottom of the NFC North! Take it and like it!
    Bengals 30 purple shoehorns 17……nothing to see here, moving on!
    WHO DEY!!!

  8. thestrategyexpert says: Dec 17, 2013 12:54 PM

    Chicago doesn’t even need Detroit to lose. If DET ties and Chicago wins, that gives Chicago 9 wins and DET can only get to 8.5 wins.

  9. beardinals says: Dec 17, 2013 1:01 PM

    Bears: Lucky the Loins are a mess (again!)

    Cardinals: Best team to probably NOT make the playoffs. (after everyone predicted 5 wins)

  10. uberMensch() says: Dec 17, 2013 1:04 PM

    Whoa…after reading that, my head is spinning!

  11. 12strikes says: Dec 17, 2013 1:04 PM

    theworkhorsebackdotcom says: Dec 17, 2013 12:49 PM

    This could be the first season that the Ravens don’t make it to the playoffs under Harbough
    ________________

    Won’t be the last time as long as they have that crazy Flacco contract.

  12. chadhenne42 says: Dec 17, 2013 1:07 PM

    cjspiller12 says: Dec 17, 2013 12:50 PM

    Cross Miami off the list………..Buffalo will beat them this weekend. Just like the last time. Buffalo’s Def will have a field day with sacks against that offensive line for Miami. Just like last time!!
    —————————————————————
    What he meant to say was that the Pats, ravens, bengals, and colts were all going to lose next week and give miami a chance to clinch the #2 seed in the final week of regulation.

  13. ghost26 says: Dec 17, 2013 1:10 PM

    CJ,

    The Dolphins are a better team now then when the Bills barely won that game. Our QB is playing better, our receivers are playing better, & our RB’s are playing better. You can’t say that about the Bills who are 5-9 & barely beat the Jaguars. And you’re going to beat us w/o Dareus & maybe Stevie Johnson??? Not going to happen unless Jim Kelly, Andre Reed, & Bruce Smith suit up.

  14. seahawksbmx says: Dec 17, 2013 1:11 PM

    Since ‘Niners won’t wax the Falcons until Monday night, instead of saying they’re in with a Cardinal loss, how’s about we say they’re in with a Seahawk win? Much more fun that way.

  15. joetoronto says: Dec 17, 2013 1:12 PM

    bengalguy says:
    Dec 17, 2013 12:53 PM
    Pathetic Vikings have absolutely ZERO chance of beating the Bengals in Cincy.
    Bengals are undefeated @ home and NOBODY runs on us! Even AP. No your role Purple Shoehorns…..bottom of the NFC North! Take it and like it!
    Bengals 30 purple shoehorns 17……nothing to see here, moving on!
    WHO DEY!!!
    ********************************************
    “Dey” are perennial losers, losers of the highest degree.

    “Dey” haven’t won a playoff game in 23 years.

    “Dey” are a joke.

  16. ghost26 says: Dec 17, 2013 1:19 PM

    Why does Flacco continued to get ripped for his contract??? All he does is win. Just look at Romo & Stafford who have similar contracts & continue to lose. And I hate the Ravens.

  17. classyjacklambert says: Dec 17, 2013 1:20 PM

    Ravens have already clinched the AFCN, and they also have clinched back to back Superbowl victories. All other teams pail in comparison to the mighty Ravens.

    Yes they are going to the Super Bowl with Justin Tucker scoring 40 fgs and flacco scoring 0 tds throughout the playoffs. Unless they get all the ref help they got last night in each game, they will be lucky to make the playoffs let alone win a game.

  18. NoHomeTeam says: Dec 17, 2013 1:21 PM

    bengalguy says: . . . “Purple Shoehorns…”

    I’m a Vikings fan, so I should be all bent out of shape . . . but that’s funny

  19. eaglesnoles05 says: Dec 17, 2013 1:22 PM

    If the Chip passed 50+ and ran McCoy 8 times (?!?!?!?!?!?) in a loss to the Vikes and claim it was to take advantage of the Vikes weakness (battered secondary), then they better Run McCoy at LEAST 30 times vs Chicago. And they will win.

    Wahington is beating Dallas. Mark it.

  20. jdb26 says: Dec 17, 2013 1:23 PM

    Did not read the article, scrolled straight to the comments…it’s far more entertaining.

  21. whoknowsnothing says: Dec 17, 2013 1:25 PM

    The Cardinals are the only team to really have a tough time making the playoffs.
    Beating the Seahawks and 49ers is no easy task and doing that in back-to-back weeks will take a performance of a life time from the Cardinals.

  22. cjspiller12 says: Dec 17, 2013 1:26 PM

    chadhenne42 says:Dec 17, 2013 1:07 PM

    cjspiller12 says: Dec 17, 2013 12:50 PM

    Cross Miami off the list………..Buffalo will beat them this weekend. Just like the last time. Buffalo’s Def will have a field day with sacks against that offensive line for Miami. Just like last time!!
    —————————————————————
    What he meant to say was that the Pats, ravens, bengals, and colts were all going to lose next week and give miami a chance to clinch the #2 seed in the final week of regulation.
    ________________________________
    Ha!! Good one!! I could live with that!!

  23. cjspiller12 says: Dec 17, 2013 1:32 PM

    ghost26 says:Dec 17, 2013 1:10 PM

    CJ,

    The Dolphins are a better team now then when the Bills barely won that game. Our QB is playing better, our receivers are playing better, & our RB’s are playing better. You can’t say that about the Bills who are 5-9 & barely beat the Jaguars. And you’re going to beat us w/o Dareus & maybe Stevie Johnson??? Not going to happen unless Jim Kelly, Andre Reed, & Bruce Smith suit up.
    _________________________________
    Where did you get that Dareus is not going to play? Further from the truth. Your offensive line his horrible….Bills pass rush will have a field day. They lead the NFL in sacks. Doesn’t matter that we barely beat the Jags (7 points)?? Was a road game and the Jags actually had won three in a row and were playing nice football. Oh, and if my memory serves me right, when Kelly, Reed and Smith suited up, we pretty much beat you all the time then too.

  24. mancave001 says: Dec 17, 2013 1:35 PM

    bengalguy says:
    Dec 17, 2013 12:53 PM
    Pathetic Vikings have absolutely ZERO chance of beating the Bengals in Cincy.

    ———————

    I can’t speak to the home field advantage, but the “pathetic” Vikings dominated the Eagles, who are an objectively much better team. As for you, you just got your butts handed to you by Pittsburg in a half-full stadium. I wouldn’t be so confident.

  25. 12strikes says: Dec 17, 2013 1:43 PM

    ghost26 says: Dec 17, 2013 1:19 PM

    Why does Flacco continued to get ripped for his contract??? All he does is win. Just look at Romo & Stafford who have similar contracts & continue to lose. And I hate the Ravens.

    ____________________
    Thank you for proving my point

    Do you really want to compare Flacco to Romo after this week? If so, then I agree.

    And Stafford… What has he done? What has his team done?..

    Not sure you picked the best examples to debunk the fact that the Ravens screwed up giving Flacco that contract.

  26. mrplow3 says: Dec 17, 2013 1:46 PM

    I want the Ravens to miss the playoffs for the simple fact that Joe Flacco make more money then Manning, Brady, Brees, and Rodgers.

    Yeah, let that sink in a second like I did and good luck convincing yourself you don’t live in bizzaro world.

  27. weepingjebus says: Dec 17, 2013 1:52 PM

    The next few weeks will be critically important for what really matters: making sure Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez are back together for one more glorious year. The Jets will somehow win out despite Geno Smith throwing another 9 ints, and the long, long offseason will reunite this storied pair. Believe!

  28. punterturnedpiratelouieaguiarrr says: Dec 17, 2013 1:56 PM

    And the league wants to screw up all this late-season drama with an 18-game regular season. So stupid.

  29. vaphinfan says: Dec 17, 2013 1:59 PM

    Miamis offensive line will give up sacks but the difference this week and from the last game is that Tannehill has been protecting the ball much better.

  30. blackandbluedivision says: Dec 17, 2013 2:03 PM

    beardinals says:
    Dec 17, 2013 1:01 PM
    Bears: Lucky the Loins are a mess (again!)

    Cardinals: Best team to probably NOT make the playoffs. (after everyone predicted 5 wins)

    ___________________________

    Bears are lucky?

    The Lions are lucky they’re even relevant if it wasn’t for Cutler and Rodger being hurt at some point this season. (again!)

  31. ghost26 says: Dec 17, 2013 2:06 PM

    Where did you get that Dareus is not going to play? Further from the truth. Your offensive line his horrible….Bills pass rush will have a field day. They lead the NFL in sacks. Doesn’t matter that we barely beat the Jags (7 points)?? Was a road game and the Jags actually had won three in a row and were playing nice football. Oh, and if my memory serves me right, when Kelly, Reed and Smith suited up, we pretty much beat you all the time then too.

    CJ,

    First of all Dareus injured hurt his ankle so we’ll see if he plays Sunday & yes our O-line has been horrible BUT remember we’re still 8-6 & not 5-9.

    Do you even remember the last time the Bills have made the playoffs??? B/c I can assure you no one else does. Yes you dominated us when you lost four straight SB’s but clearly you’re living in the past. The Bills are now irrelevant.

  32. ghost26 says: Dec 17, 2013 2:09 PM

    ‘The Lions are lucky they’re even relevant if it wasn’t for Cutler and Rodger being hurt at some point this season. (again!)’

    After last night I’d say the Lions are pretty much irrelevant. Stafford completely sucked & those two drops by Megatron were mind boggling…

  33. 2difshoe says: Dec 17, 2013 2:09 PM

    heyguru1969 says:

    Dec 17, 2013 12:47 PM
    The Jets clinch a playoff spot with losses by every other NFL team, and if the Mayan Calendar was off by a year and the world actually ends Dec. 21st, 2013. Alternate scenario, Hell freezes over.

    ———————————————————-

    Hilarious…best post this month.

    Although the Jets chances improve greatly should all remaining games travel itinerary include fight paths via the Bermuda Triangle.

  34. tvjules says: Dec 17, 2013 2:13 PM

    Just give us the scenario where Peyton plays the Colts, Peyton plays Brady, and Seattle plays the 49ers.
    Those games are Must See TV.

  35. coolherc says: Dec 17, 2013 2:15 PM

    punterturnedpiratelouieaguiarrr says:
    Dec 17, 2013 1:56 PM

    And the league wants to screw up all this late-season drama with an 18-game regular season. So stupid.

    ————————————————————

    Or expanding the playoffs to allow more teams. smh

  36. sonoco says: Dec 17, 2013 2:17 PM

    If Arizona makes it in, no team will be more deserving of a wild-card . . . this coming from a 49er fan.

  37. cjspiller12 says: Dec 17, 2013 2:19 PM

    ghost26 says:Dec 17, 2013 2:06 PM

    Where did you get that Dareus is not going to play? Further from the truth. Your offensive line his horrible….Bills pass rush will have a field day. They lead the NFL in sacks. Doesn’t matter that we barely beat the Jags (7 points)?? Was a road game and the Jags actually had won three in a row and were playing nice football. Oh, and if my memory serves me right, when Kelly, Reed and Smith suited up, we pretty much beat you all the time then too.

    CJ,

    First of all Dareus injured hurt his ankle so we’ll see if he plays Sunday & yes our O-line has been horrible BUT remember we’re still 8-6 & not 5-9.

    Do you even remember the last time the Bills have made the playoffs??? B/c I can assure you no one else does. Yes you dominated us when you lost four straight SB’s but clearly you’re living in the past. The Bills are now irrelevant.
    _____________________________
    And Miami is still irrelevant and will continue to be except for the Martin and Incognito story.

  38. ghost26 says: Dec 17, 2013 2:19 PM

    Miamis offensive line will give up sacks but the difference this week and from the last game is that Tannehill has been protecting the ball much better.

    Vaphinfan,

    Aside from protecting the ball better, he’s throwing the ball with more confidence. He’s gotten Wallace more involved in the offense, Rishard Matthews has emerged, & Clay has become a flat out stud. After beating the Steelers in the snow I don’t see the Bills stopping our offense.

  39. friscokid49 says: Dec 17, 2013 2:29 PM

    mrplow3 says:Dec 17, 2013 1:46 PM

    I want the Ravens to miss the playoffs for the simple fact that Joe Flacco make more money then Manning, Brady, Brees, and Rodgers.

    Yeah, let that sink in a second like I did and good luck convincing yourself you don’t live in bizzaro world.
    ——————————————————–

    Joe “I look like Ben Stiler” Flacco has as many rings as P. Manning, Brees and Rodgers.

    He also has as many rings as Brady if you only go back the last TEN season.

    Let that marinate for a second……..

    ……yes it has been TEN seasons since Brady won a NFL Championship.

    wow, im old.

  40. whatjusthapped says: Dec 17, 2013 2:32 PM

    Vikings had a very good chance for a top 5 pick and blew it with a meaningless win over the Eagles. They can’t even suck when they are suppose to suck thereby giving them a higher draft pick so they can suck even more and longer in the future.

  41. flaccodelic says: Dec 17, 2013 2:34 PM

    mrplow3 says:
    Dec 17, 2013 1:46 PM
    I want the Ravens to miss the playoffs for the simple fact that Joe Flacco make more money then Manning, Brady, Brees, and Rodgers.

    Yeah, let that sink in a second like I did and good luck convincing yourself you don’t live in bizzaro world.

    —-

    Joe Flacco outplayed Manning and Brady en route to becoming the defending Super Bowl MVP.
    Maybe you should let that sink in.

  42. bearsoxass says: Dec 17, 2013 2:43 PM

    Remember XLV Go Pack!!!!
    And the bears still S U C K !!!!!

  43. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Dec 17, 2013 2:43 PM

    The homeless guy was right. My team (Detroit) is sorry. They’re flat out terrible and Jim Schwartz needs to be fired the minute the season ends. I would say fire him today but I guess it would be smarter to wait until next Sunday when we’re mathematically eliminated from the playoffs first.
    Being a Lions fan is one of the most frustrating things in the world. We’ve won one playoff game in my whole life and it was my freshman year in high school. Every year I say I’m done with them and for some reason I watch every game the next season. I guess if I made it through the 0-16 season it can’t ever get worse.
    I’m heading back to Michigan for Christmas on Thursday and I have tickets to Lions vs. Giants and there’s no way I’m going. I’m not even going to try to sell the tickets either I’m going to burn them. I would much rather spend those few hours with my love ones than have anything further to do with this dog and pony show. This organization is a joke and I’m embarrassed to call myself a Lions fan.
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone!

  44. ghost26 says: Dec 17, 2013 2:55 PM

    ‘And Miami is still irrelevant and will continue to be except for the Martin and Incognito story.’

    CJ,

    8-6 is not irrelevant. 5-9 is. Pretty sad when all you can do is root for the Dolphins to not make the playoffs. You’re going to get beat this week in your own stadium b/c you have a bad football team. And if we play poorly & lose this game??? Then well, we don’t deserve to make the playoffs.

  45. cjspiller12 says: Dec 17, 2013 3:20 PM

    ghost26 says:Dec 17, 2013 2:55 PM

    ‘And Miami is still irrelevant and will continue to be except for the Martin and Incognito story.’

    CJ,

    8-6 is not irrelevant. 5-9 is. Pretty sad when all you can do is root for the Dolphins to not make the playoffs. You’re going to get beat this week in your own stadium b/c you have a bad football team. And if we play poorly & lose this game??? Then well, we don’t deserve to make the playoffs.
    ________________________________
    No, it’s not that I’m rooting for the Dolphins not to make the playoffs………….it’s just I’m rooting for the Bills to beat the Dolphins this week. After that, it’s ok with me Dolphins get in. I always root for my team first, no matter what.

  46. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Dec 17, 2013 3:23 PM

    thepftpoet says:
    Dec 17, 2013 12:28 PM

    The red-hot Vikings have a chance to give the Ravens the AFC north with a win over Cincinnati, which is very possible.

    Thank us later

    Sincerely, the other purple team

    —-

    Hmmm. Seems like you should be a little more interested in discussing the Vike’s playoff scenarios…. Oh wait, they’re not relevant, just like almost always….

  47. shlort says: Dec 17, 2013 3:31 PM

    Though the Bears lead the NFC North, the Packers have the most firm grip on the wheel.

    Just saying it like it is.

  48. tebow420 says: Dec 17, 2013 3:49 PM

    The Vikings will play Cincinnati tough. They played every other AFC North team close. The writing is on the wall for Bengals and Lions, they still have a chance, but it starts for them this week. A Detroit loss would be devastating, the NFL will want Bears Packers to be for the title, and the Eagles will likely rout the Bears as a result.

    The NFL will want the Bengals to lose, this will make the final game more meaningful. Imagine, 3 games on the final week deciding a division without any wildcard impact.

    The Dolphins and Chargers have to face two divisional opponents, the Dolphins seem to have an edge, and if they all lose and go 8-8, the Jets would have a chance, it doesn’t get any better than that.

  49. sb44champs says: Dec 17, 2013 4:01 PM

    New Orleans clinches NFC South division and a first-round bye with a win. New Orleans can also clinch a playoff spot even with a loss, as long as Arizona also loses.
    ==========================
    Cards play @ Seattle so it’s a done deal.. Saints are in the playoffs..

  50. longsufferingbillsfan says: Dec 17, 2013 4:21 PM

    The Saints have the funniest scenario. If they and SF win out, and Seattle loses out, they get the #1. However if Seattle beats Arizona, Seattle clinches homefield but the Saints are guaranteed a berth.

  51. xli2006 says: Dec 17, 2013 4:24 PM

    Ravens have by far the toughest stretch left. If they make it they will have earned it.

    vs. Patriots
    @ Bengals

    Squeaking by Minnesota and a stealing an ugly one against a Detroit team that clearly doesn’t want to take advantage of NFC North situation this year is one thing… beating the Pats and Bengals will be the bigger test.

    Bengals / Ravens could end up playing in Week 17 and Round 1 back to back.

  52. hawkstradamus says: Dec 17, 2013 4:50 PM

    All Seahawks all the way. Nobody can come to the CLink and expect any thing other than a severe beating. And manning or Brady don’t stand a chance against the Leigon of Boom or the band of mercenaries we got up front in NYC. #XLVengeance

  53. drs76109 says: Dec 17, 2013 5:21 PM

    The next story oughta be the coaching death knell watch – HC’s: Schiano, Schwartz, Frazier, Allen, Shanahan, Ryan, Tomlin, Garrett…could be a banner year!

    Ass’t coaches: Shanahan, Haslett, Haley, Kiffin, the guy in Miami with the Incognito mess, the rest of the Texans’ staff…

  54. truths4all says: Dec 17, 2013 6:46 PM

    Let’s get real, you crybaby fans of the Bengals, Ravens, Dolphins, Saints, Panthers, Eagles and Bears.

    No one has it tougher to get into the playoffs than the Arizona Cardinals. No one. In order to get in, they must play and beat the Seahawks there and the 49ers at home. OK, if you team is so tough at this time of year, which one of you would volunteer to play both of these teams and win in order to get into theplayoffs? Be honest silly fans, not one of your teams would volunteer to take on both of these powerhouses.

    And besides this killer tandem to face, you can bet your sweet bippy that the NFL will make sure there are more bad calls against and more non-calls against the Seahawks and 49ers when the Cards play them because the NFL has already decided who they want to their party and that Cards were never invited.

    Of course if you are deluded, you will continue your team has the toughest road to get into the playoffs, but every pro football expert agree that the Cards have the most impossible road to travel.

  55. ncarolinarn7 says: Dec 17, 2013 11:04 PM

    Some slam hard smash mouth football at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC. I expect the Panthers to take care of home field and hit like it’s the Super Bowl. I’d target # 80 off the line and bull rush Brees. Carolina can win the game and also beat Atlanta. Panthers had the hardest schedule this year in the NFL and can finish 12-4.

  56. fnf417 says: Dec 18, 2013 7:09 AM

    And flying under the radar is???

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