So far we know three of this year’s 12 playoff teams. If everything goes as expected, that number will triple by the end of the week.
The Chiefs have already clinched an AFC playoff berth, and the Rams and Saints have already clinched their divisions. If all of the favored teams win in Week 15, six more teams will clinch playoff berths. Those teams are:
Patriots: Clinch the AFC East if they beat the Steelers. The Patriots are 1.5-point favorites.
Seahawks: Clinch an NFC wild card berth if they beat the 49ers. The Seahawks are 4.5-point favorites.
Bears: Clinch the NFC North if they beat the Packers. The Bears are 6-point favorites.
Cowboys: Clinch the NFC East if they beat the Colts, or if Washington and Philadelphia both lose. The Cowboys are 2.5-point underdogs, but Washington is a 7-point underdog and Philadelphia is a 9.5-point underdog.
Chargers: Clinch a playoff berth if they beat the Chiefs on Thursday night, or if the Steelers and Dolphins lose. The Chargers are 3.5-point underdogs, but the Steelers are 1.5-point underdogs and the Dolphins are 7-point underdogs.
Texans: Clinch a playoff berth if they beat the Jets and the Steelers and Dolphins lose. The Texans are 6.5-point favorites, the Steelers are 1.5-point underdogs and the Dolphins are 7-point underdogs.
Upsets can change everything, but if form holds we’ll have a very good idea of what the playoff picture looks like after Week 15. Which could mean some boring games in Week 16 and Week 17, as the teams that already know they’re in the playoffs start resting their starters and looking ahead to January.