If favored teams win, 8 of 12 playoff teams will be clinched this week

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Five teams have already clinched playoff berths through Week 15 of the NFL season, and three more will on Sunday, if everything goes as expected.

The Chiefs and Chargers have both clinched playoff berths in the AFC, while the Saints, Rams and Bears have all clinched their divisions in the NFC. If every favored team wins in Week 16, three more teams will clinch:

Patriots: Clinch the AFC East with a home win over the Bills. New England is a 13-point favorite.

Cowboys: Clinch the NFC East with a home win over the Buccaneers. Dallas is a 7-point favorite.

Texans: Clinch a playoff berth if the Ravens lose to the Chargers on Saturday. Los Angeles is a 4.5-point favorite over Baltimore. (The Texans would clinch the AFC South with a win, but they’re 1-point underdogs at Philadelphia.)

Other teams can clinch playoff berths this week, including the Steelers, Seahawks and Vikings, but they all need some upsets. If form holds, we’ll have eight playoff spots set and four playoff spots still open heading into Week 17.

67 responses to “If favored teams win, 8 of 12 playoff teams will be clinched this week

  1. The reason the Patriots are struggling…is because for the first time–possibly ever–Tom Brady’s cap hit is above $20mil…they’ve been forced to play by the same rules as everyone else…When teams are forced to pay their QBs…they can’t keep as much talent/depth around…The evidence is crystal clear…every QB that is paid…and more importantly has big cap hits…their team struggles! There might be an exception or two…but the rule is the rule!

  2. Seahawks are going to win the superbowl by beating the Chiefs by 7 points but this time Chris carson will run a game winning TD on the 1 yard line!!!!

  3. Pats should win this game and clinch.

    Then again, any game against an AFC East opponent should be a win for them given how soft the division is. Only NFL division where none of the other teams has hit 300 points yet and all the teams have allowed (well) over 300 points. Must be nice to have that ball of clay to work with year after year.

  4. Ravens fan here. I think the Steelers are favored this week, and the Ravens are under dogs. So if the Chargers and Steelers win the Steelers clinch? Why arent they on your list?

  5. Can’t wait to see Drew Brees and Co. beat those Steelers into the turf down in New Orleans. No way the Saints want to play the Panthers again for home field advantage. Better to take it out on a bunch of frauds who only win games due to bad calls.

  6. “dualprime says:
    December 18, 2018 at 8:05 am
    It’s fun when so many games mean so much this late in the season.”

    That’s probably one of the smarter things the NFL has done under Goodell, to save divisional games for the last couple weeks of the season.

  7. jefflocc says:
    December 18, 2018 at 7:45 am
    Seahawks are going to win the superbowl by beating the Chiefs by 7 points but this time Chris carson will run a game winning TD on the 1 yard line!!!!

    ——-

    You still think that after Sunday?? Really!? I mean……really!? There’s still a chance you don’t even make the playoffs! God willing.

  8. The Lions have a nice chance to play the spoiler this weekend. Of course in doing so, we could ruin our chances of a nice draft pick in a meaningless game to us, which is The Lions Way these days – good ol’ 7-9 win hell.

  9. …..then again, I would love to shut up the Vikings fans on this site, like we shut up the Packers fans earlier in the season. So…..

    ROAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! #ONEPRIDE

  10. Ravens fan here. I think the Steelers are favored this week, and the Ravens are under dogs. So if the Chargers and Steelers win the Steelers clinch? Why arent they on your list?

    ————————————————————————————————————————

    So you think the Steelers are favorites @ the Saints ? Must be some good stuff you are smoking.

  11. Patriots: Clinch the AFC East with a home win over the Bills. New England is a 13-point favorite.
    ——-
    A Dolphins loss to Jags would do it too.

    Would rather see the Patriots earn it themselves. Much better that way 🙂

  12. gah05 says:
    December 18, 2018 at 8:59 am
    I am daydreaming a Bills upset. That would be a whole lot of fun!! LOL
    ——
    I wouldn’t count on it but I actually think they’ll play well.

  13. Vikings favored over Lions, would be 8-6-1, could only finish 8-7-1 at worst.
    Titans favored over Redskins. Could only then finish 8-8.
    Texans favored over Eagles. Could only then finish 8-8.
    Falcons favored over the Panthers.

    Wouldn’t that mean the Vikings clinch a playoff spot, if all those favored teams win? And the Vikings would NOT need any upsets to clinch a spot this week?

  14. vikingsvoice says:
    December 18, 2018 at 8:00 am
    I’m surprised the Texans are dogs in Philly.
    //////////
    I’m seeing the Texans are favored. Which means the Vikings clinch wildcard if all favored teams win.

  15. theyearofthecat1 says:
    December 18, 2018 at 9:21 am
    …..then again, I would love to shut up the Vikings fans on this site, like we shut up the Packers fans earlier in the season. So…..
    ////////////////
    Well, the Vikings don’t get eliminated this weekend, no matter what. If they lose and the Redskins or Eagles win, then the Vikings need help. BTW: Redskins and Eagles play each other week 17, so it’s all about winning for the Vikings.

  16. Viking fans are familiar with this time of the season. This is when wishing, hoping, and praying goes to another level altogether.

    Good luck!

  17. Looks like (I hope so anyway) Vikings and Eagles will make the playoffs. Seattle is unlikely to upset Kansas City, if it cannot beat Frisco. Eagles are revitalized because of their SB MVP is starting.

  18. Watch the games this weekend! We all know what is supposed to happen DOES NOT HAPPEN! Poor officiating , Bad Weather, Injuries, Fatigue,poor coaching, more poor coaching and more poor officiating!

  19. greglloydrules says:
    December 18, 2018 at 7:20 am
    You thought KC vs LA was something? Wait till Steelers vs Saints, a shootout of epic proportions.
    ————————————
    Seriously. The Saints defense has been playing great and the Steelers defense is also playing well. This game will not be a shootout. I look for the Saints to win a low scoring game – say 20-14.

  20. I’m confused. From reading this, am I to assume that the Vikings haven’t already clinched the division and home field?
    We’ve been told ad nauseam that they were by far the best team ever assembled, and that a dynasty was imminent.
    So…either this is fake news or Vikings fans are idiots.
    Clarification, please?

  21. The ball is shaped funny; its bounce is unpredictable. Any team can beat any team on any given game day. Refs are part of the game too, so is the clock. Often it’s not so much the will to win, but the refuse to lose that determines the outcome, although being robbed of a victory is not uncommon.

    That said, what concerns me is the NFC East. It is the only division in which every team has won at least one Super Bowl, and it is the one division that has more Super Bowl victories than any other–Cowboys 5, Giants 4, Redskins 3, Eagles 1, for a total of 13.

    Dallas is favored over Tampa Bay. Why? The Cowboys couldn’t score a point against the Colts last week. New York is out, but that doesn’t mean they’re not a scrappy team that has nothing to play for but not to lose, or to deny division rivals of winning. Washington is down to its fourth quarterback, and Philadelphia is starting its backup, who won the Super Bowl last year and will never have to pay for a beer anywhere in Pennsylvania for the rest of his life.

    The thing about football is this: there are guys on the field and on the sidelines that have been playing, practicing, coaching, watching game film, studying the game all of their lives, since they were children, some of them for decades, and at the snap of the ball, they’re all asking, how the hell did that happen? Yeah, it goes like that.

    It is entirely possible for Dallas to lose the next two games. It’s not like the Buccaneers or the Giants are going to lay down for these Cowboys. In that case, either Philadelphia or Washington wins the division, depending on outcomes.

    Would it matter either way? No, not much. None of these teams have much chance of advancing in the playoffs, not past the divisional round anyway. Dallas and/or Washington will get bounced out of the wildcard round like a dead cat. Philadelphia may recapture magic, but not all the way to the Super Bowl. There are too many far better teams in the NFC at this time, particularly in New Orleans and Chicago, not to mention Minneapolis.

    It comes down to game planning, play calling, clock management by coaches, and execution by players.
    I just don’t see that in the NFC East. Maybe one team will win it all, but probably not. The league is shifting directions.

  22. stellarperformance says:
    December 18, 2018 at 10:39 am
    Viking fans are familiar with this time of the season. This is when wishing, hoping, and praying goes to another level altogether.

    Good luck!
    ____________________________________________________________________________________

    And yet for the second year in a row the Packers are eliminated from the playoffs before the last game of the regular season.

  23. minneanderthals says:
    December 18, 2018 at 11:09 am

    I’m confused. From reading this, am I to assume that the Vikings haven’t already clinched the division and home field?
    We’ve been told ad nauseam that they were by far the best team ever assembled, and that a dynasty was imminent.
    So…either this is fake news or Vikings fans are idiots.
    Clarification, please?

    ÷÷÷÷÷÷÷

    To clarify, you are obsessed with all things Viking related as your name shows. No one ever said the Vikings were the best team ever assembled. You just make stuff up to suit your needs. Did I dumb that down enough for you?

  24. wib22 says:
    December 18, 2018 at 11:35 am
    10-6 and one and done chowds.
    It’s over!
    ————————————-
    LOL….NO SOUP FOR YOU!!

  25. I’d love to see the Chargers beat the RATBIRDS…..
    I’d love to see the Saints beat the SQUEALERS too….
    I can’t stand the Cowboys but I hope they win…..enjoy seeing the Eagles crash & burn!!!!

  26. I will gladly admit the Packers are not good this year, and that I was mistaken.

    But there’s no way ever to convince a Vikings fan to admit they were mistaken, and that their team isn’t the best in the NFL.

    The only reason they ever lose is due to injuries or the refs.

  27. minneanderthals says:
    December 18, 2018 at 11:09 am
    I’m confused. From reading this, am I to assume that the Vikings haven’t already clinched the division and home field?
    We’ve been told ad nauseam that they were by far the best team ever assembled, and that a dynasty was imminent.
    So…either this is fake news or Vikings fans are idiots.
    Clarification, please?
    *****
    I’m confused. Who do the Packers square off against in the playoffs this year? We’ve been told ad nauseam that all that was required for a Packer Super Bowl run was simply having Aaron Rodgers on the field for all 16 games.
    So…either this is fake news or Packers fans are idiots (and delusional).
    Clarification, please?

  28. No matter how many times salty Packer fans make up quotes, the only real truth is, their team is worse this year than they were with Hundley in 2017. Maybe they dumped Hundley to avoid a QB controversy. That, and the Packers are on the clock before the Browns.

  29. minneanderthals
    I was confused as well.
    But my eyes were blurry from having to read past all the POSTS by Packer fans insisting:
    1) AR would come to the rescue and beat every remaining team by 400 points to lead them to the SB!
    2) Firing of MM would solve ALL the ills and rejuvenate the team!
    3) Every other team in the NFL only cares about the Packers because that game “Is their superbowl”

    I didn’t actually SEE any of those Viking fan posts claiming dynasty you speak of. Maybe something wrong with my browser? Or yours? Maybe put this into your browser code… /PackersRoseColoredGlass=OFF

    That might fix it for ya…

  30. jefflocc says:
    December 18, 2018 at 7:45 am
    Seahawks are going to win the superbowl by beating the Chiefs by 7 points but this time Chris carson will run a game winning TD on the 1 yard line!!!!
    ———————–
    So you are telling me the team that just lost to a QB named Mullins is going to go on the road and win 3 games against one of the toughest fields of NFC teams in recent memory then win the super bowl? Man I need some of what you have.

  31. theyearofthecat1 says:
    December 18, 2018 at 9:21 am
    …..then again, I would love to shut up the Vikings fans on this site, like we shut up the Packers fans earlier in the season. So…..

    ——————————————————
    Speaking of shutting people up, you have been awfully quiet since your early season predictions that the Lions were going to finish the top of the division, where have you been?

  32. gawainsghost says:

    Dallas is favored over Tampa Bay. Why? The Cowboys couldn’t score a point against the Colts last week. New York is out, but that doesn’t mean they’re not a scrappy team that has nothing to play for but not to lose, or to deny division rivals of winning. Washington is down to its fourth quarterback, and Philadelphia is starting its backup, who won the Super Bowl last year and will never have to pay for a beer anywhere in Pennsylvania for the rest of his life.

    Worst case, Texans get in thru the back door guaranteeing a WC thanks to a Ravens win on Saturday. The Titans at home on Saturday can stay alive with a home field win over the “Skins. Texans will know before game time Sunday. That could make for an interesting week 17. If the Texans let up in week 16 and not field their best players thanks to a Ravens win, and lose to Philly, who’s favored by 1, it will leave the AFC South division up for grabs in the final week assuming the Colts beat the Giants in week 16. The Titans can grab the wild card with a win over the Colts, or the Colts can win the division over the Texans and knock the Titans out with a win in Tennessee on week 17. Texans win the division with a win on Sunday or next week against the Jags in Houston or another back door escape due to a loss by the Colts either in Week 16 or 17. Whew.

    And in spite of all of that, poor Nick Foles is still doomed to a lifetime of Rolling Rock freebies, dilly dilly.

  33. mmmpierogi says:
    December 18, 2018 at 7:55 am
    Pats should win this game and clinch.

    Then again, any game against an AFC East opponent should be a win for them given how soft the division is. Only NFL division where none of the other teams has hit 300 points yet and all the teams have allowed (well) over 300 points. Must be nice to have that ball of clay to work with year after year.
    _____________________________________
    Buffalo is going to put the Patriots at 9-6 this Sunday.

  34. The cowboys couldn’t win 10 games a season if they tried! 8-8 and sneak into the wild card only to lose!

  35. The 5-9 Bengals knocked the Lions (in week 16) and Ravens (in week 17) out of the playoffs last year. Anything can happen when you play a team who has nothing to lose.

  36. I will gladly admit the Packers are not good this year, and that I was mistaken.

    But there’s no way ever to convince a Vikings fan to admit they were mistaken, and that their team isn’t the best in the NFL.

    The only reason they ever lose is due to injuries or the refs.
    ______________________________________________

    Nope the Bills just kicked the Vikings up and down the field. So did the Seahawks. See? A Vikings fan can admit when they have been beat. Just like the NFC title games…ALL of them losses going back to 1977 at Dallas. They lost. They got beat by better teams.

  37. erikthepurple says:
    December 18, 2018 at 9:52 am

    The Vikings will host the NFC Championship game vs……..Seattle. Vikings 27 Seachickens 21.

    ———————————————————————————–

    Highly unlikely. There’s a reason the Vikings are purple – you would be purple too if you had been been choking for the last 57 years.

    I don’t see that changing anytime soon, especially with a QB who is known for choking in big games.

    If the Vikings somehow squeak in with a wild card spot, and even more unlikely advance past the wild card round, as the lowest seed they would likely face the Saints in New Orleans. Good luck with that – the Saints would be chomping at the bit to avenge last year’s playoff loss, and the Vikings would stand no chance.

  38. Seattle got trap gamed in Clara. They played a conservative offensive approach thinking a 7-10 point win was pretty much worst case scenario and they were flagged right out of that garbage stadium. Janikowski’s zero effort on that kickoff return didn’t help. What a 2 play stretch, Beer keg kicker misses the extra point, follows that up with running right by the ball carrier as the last line of defense.

  39. getadealdonealready says:
    December 18, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    Speaking of shutting people up, you have been awfully quiet since your early season predictions that the Lions were going to finish the top of the division, where have you been?

    ———————

    You clearly haven’t been paying much attention, have you? Of course I expect you to disappear after your loss to The Lions this weekend, just as you did after your loss to the Bills at home earlier in the season, or after your loss to Philly in the NFCCG.

    Vikings and Packers fans are both of the same ilk, and us Lions and Bears fans have had enough.

  40. my_old_name_was_offensive says:

    December 18, 2018 at 7:23 am

    The reason the Patriots are struggling…is because for the first time–possibly ever–Tom Brady’s cap hit is above $20mil…they’ve been forced to play by the same rules as everyone else…When teams are forced to pay their QBs…they can’t keep as much talent/depth around…The evidence is crystal clear…every QB that is paid…and more importantly has big cap hits…their team struggles! There might be an exception or two…but the rule…

    ——-

    This is an argument made by idiots, most likely ones without a franchise QB. It’s called drafting better. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t paying your QB if the talent around them sucks. Name 1 probowler on the Pats outside if Brady. Remember when the Seahawks now suck since they paid Wilson? Their newly remade team is in the playoffs. But let’s look at everyone’s favorite example…Kirk Cousins.

    Kirk Cousins got paid, so according to your logic, Vikings can’t pay anyone else…
    Adam Thielen-paid
    Stefon Diggs-paid
    Xavier Rhodes-paid
    Everson Griffen-paid
    Danielle Hunter-paid
    Harrison Smith-paid
    Kyle Rudolph-paid
    Eric Kendeicks-paid
    Lindval Joseph-paid
    Sheldon Richardson-paid
    Riley Reiff-paid
    Mike Remmers-paid

    Where did all this money come from? Vikings have a higher salary cap than everyone else? The reality is they have elite talent and have under achieved because of their OFFENSIVE LINE. They overpaid Reiff and Remmers, who are average players and completely neglected the rest of the line, outside of drafting Elflein. The Vikings are a .500 team not because they paid Cousins, but because they thought they needed another DB in the first round rather than a gaurd.

  41. The Texans would clinch the AFC South with a win, but they’re 1-point underdogs at Philadelphia.

    And if true there’s the sucker bet of the week, after last week almost everyone will be jumping all over the Eagles to cover 1-point, BE CAREFUL, BE VERY CAREFUL! Texans by 7

    OH BTW everywhere I’ve looked(yes I did check you out) the Texans are favored and either -3 or -3.5, where’d you get the Texans were 1 point underdogs anyhow, that’s a 4.5 point difference a point spread doesn’t move that much in that short of a time?

  42. I did just find this a CBS Sports: Houston Teans at Philadelphia Eagles (-1, 45)

    Now I don’t know anything about the Teans but I’ll bet they aren’t as good as the Texans! LOL

    I don’t put much faith in CBS point spreads, they’re usually a bit off from the Vegas line.

  43. Phili & Texans should be a good game.
    I had to laugh at Collinsworth call of the Phili & Rams game though.
    One moment it is like wow this is just like last year Foley is doing it again.
    Then next moment it is well every decision the Eagles made last year worked but this year it has been the other way.
    Then it is back to the Foley miracle.

    Both he and Bradshaw should retire.
    Bradshaw should also apologize after his little stupid rant he went on last week about how dumb it was for fire Defloppo.

  44. This is the first time in several seasons that the Vikings do not have multiple injuries at key positions going into the playoffs. Only Eric Kendricks is limited. The Giants have had a couple seasons like that where they had injuries all year but in Dec everyone healed and they put together runs. I’m encouraged because the Vikings season is lining up just like that. Go ahead and dismiss them as 1 and done. NO bye week to throw off the chemistry. 9-6-1 or maybe even 8-7-1 and thought of as zero threat. Perfect. The Bears better hope the Vikings are the 5th seed and not 6th because if they are 6th they are going to beat the Bears in the WC game.

  45. Just reposting because this is what i was going to say but this is easier lol. Pretty sure the Vikings are favored over the Lions, Titans are favored over Washington, and Texans are favored over Eagles. The favored teams there win and the Vikings are officially in with the last seed. Also, who was it that said the Seahawks won’t make it in? lol.

    conormacleod says:
    December 18, 2018 at 9:44 am
    Vikings favored over Lions, would be 8-6-1, could only finish 8-7-1 at worst.
    Titans favored over Redskins. Could only then finish 8-8.
    Texans favored over Eagles. Could only then finish 8-8.
    Falcons favored over the Panthers.

    Wouldn’t that mean the Vikings clinch a playoff spot, if all those favored teams win? And the Vikings would NOT need any upsets to clinch a spot this week?

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