Panthers, Patriots, Bengals can clinch playoff spots this week

AP

No NFL team has clinched a playoff berth yet, but three teams can punch their playoff tickets on Sunday.

The Panthers have the clearest path to the playoffs: If they beat the Saints on Sunday, they win the NFC South. The Panthers can also win the NFC South even if they lose, as long as the Falcons lose to the Buccaneers. And the Panthers can clinch a playoff spot even if they lose and the Falcons win, as long as the Seahawks lose or both the Cardinals and Packers lose.

The Patriots also have a fairly clear path to the playoffs: If the Patriots win and the Jets lose, the Patriots win the AFC East. The Patriots can also clinch a playoff berth even if the Jets win, as long as the Patriots win and either the Chiefs or Steelers lose.

The Bengals need more help: Cincinnati can’t clinch the AFC North this week, but the Bengals can clinch a playoff berth with a win, a Texans loss, a Colts loss and either a Jets loss or both a Broncos win and a Chiefs loss.

Bottom line: The Panthers will probably get their playoff ticket punched this weekend, the Patriots need a little help and the Bengals need a lot of help.

36 responses to “Panthers, Patriots, Bengals can clinch playoff spots this week

  1. Fortunately as a Pats fan we’ve never been 15-1 in the Brady era. Every single other combination above 9 wins.

    So we have that going for us…. Which is nice.

  2. If we get #1 seed, put everyone on the shelf until the playoffs. TB, Gronk, Chandler, Amendola. Everyone. Bring out the practice squad. (Apologies to those travelling to sunny FLA for week 16.)

  3. mzew233 says:
    Dec 1, 2015 6:54 PM

    Fortunately as a Pats fan we’ve never been 15-1 in the Brady era. Every single other combination above 9 wins.

    So we have that going for us…. Which is nice.
    ———————————————————–
    That 18-1 season was pretty sweet. My favorite part was when they lost to a wildcard team in the Super Bowl.

  4. An article about the Patriots, the Panthers and the Bengals, and the Bengals haters are out in full force.

    We even have our own groupie in joetoronto – hating on them like they are actually in his team’s division.

    There must be some real fear out there to post some random hate on a harmless article like this.

  5. I imagine if the Patriots clinch, which they wont…..no Gronk = no offense, the party at Goodells place will be crazy. Judge Berman and Kraft will probably pass out off their watermelon wine coolers.

  6. Hey joetoronto, it’s fun having this conversation about the Bengals going into week 12 isn’t it? Lots more material coming up for you the rest of the year. Still waiting for some of your “comedy gold” however. Don’t wait until the playoffs to bring your A game.

  7. Has any team ever been one-and-done 5 years in a row? We’re witnessing history here folks.

  8. Hopefully the forces of good which is roger goodell and the nfl. prevail over tom brady and the rest of his scumbag football club and brady gets suspended for the playoffs

  9. Funny that crybaby nation is telling pats fans to stop making excuses about the referees.

    Yet every time we beat you, you complain we cheated.

    #Deflategate is a known hoax, you’re living off of a fantasy that took place almost a decade ago.

  10. shovelhunter says:
    Dec 1, 2015 8:14 PM
    Hopefully the forces of good which is roger goodell and the nfl. prevail over tom brady and the rest of his scumbag football club and brady gets suspended for the playoffs
    ____________________

    “the forces of good which is roger goodell and the nfl.”

    lol lol lol lol lol lol pure gold right there

  11. That 18-1 season was pretty sweet. My favorite part was when they lost to a wildcard team in the Super Bowl.

    ———————-

    You know what the Patriots had to do that year to finish 18-1? Go 17-0 first.

    Try being a Lions fan once in a while or most any other fanbase who would kill to have a team capable of such a great run.

  12. @joetoronto says:
    Dec 1, 2015 7:41 PM

    “The Bungals and the playoffs, pure comedy gold.”

    The Raiders and the playoffs, not lately. Call me back when your team can crack .500.

    SCOREBOARD!

  13. Patriots get to go 18-1 this year… Best part about that is they already have the loss on record….
    I can live with that…. How bout you??!!

  14. That 18-1 season was pretty sweet. My favorite part was when they lost to a wildcard team in the Super Bowl.

    ———————-

    You know what the Patriots had to do that year to finish 18-1? Go 17-0 first.

    Try being a Lions fan once in a while or most any other fanbase who would kill to have a team capable of such a great run.
    Actually, to finish at 18-1, they had to go 18-0 first, just saying

  15. usdcoyotesfan : The Panthers are the worst 11-0 team in the league.

    Ummmmmm, they’re the ONLY 11-0 team in the league bro.

  16. What happened to the Steelers taking over the AFC North?
    Oh yeah… it was detonated by the Legion of Boom.

  17. Steelers are out of the playoff race. Allowing 80 yard TDs at the end of a game is not going to get you to the post season. LOL.

  18. The Pats run has been pretty remarkable considering all the injuries. But I don’t think the Panthers have been given enough credit for overcoming their injuries. Kuechly has missed 3.5 games, Charles Johnson 7 games, and their #1 receiver has been out all year. Several other key players have missed 1 or 2 games.

    Looking forward to a division-clinching win on Sunday, and a franchise record 13th win next week against the Atlanta Tweety-birds. And I hope Cortland Finnegan beats all their receivers up.

  19. Hopefully the forces of good which is roger goodell and the nfl.

    Are you kidding me? Your value system is totally warped. Roger Goodell and his minions have displaced politicians as the number one group of lying, immoral, incompetent and gutless forces anywhere today. They have repeatedly and shamelessly displayed these traits and show no signs of stopping.

  20. Goodel is doing everything he can to make the nfl an even playing field. Why cant you all see that? Oh because your all fans of cheaters and instead of admitting that your team only wins because cheats your option is to tear down the people that have busted u. Very sophmoric. Im a bengals fan. My team doesnt cheat. Bengals fans have no problemwith goodel. Its quite simple

  21. hey shovelhunter

    I applaud you for being the only hater here to say which team you root for but at the same time… you’re an idiot.

    Ex-Bengals and retired Pro Bowl quarterback Jeff Blake confessed in an interview that removing air from footballs was common when he played in the NFL from 1992-2005.

    CONFESSED! Bengals Deflategate!

    You say the Pats were cheating because of something that there is no proof ever happened while your team actually CONFESSED to doing that same thing.

    Should your team lose a couple of draft picks and be fined a million? I mean after all they actually did deflate balls.

  22. Bengals can clinch the division if pitt loses and bengals win. If bengals win and pitt loses the worst case scenario is they end up at the end of the season with same record. The tie breaker would come to conf record which cincy would have by 1 game.

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