12 teams have playoff clinching scenarios for Week 17

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Two teams already know their playoff seeds before Week 17: The Saints, who will be the NFC No. 1 seed, and the Cowboys, who will be the NFC No. 4 seed. After that, things are wide open.

Overall, 12 teams have scenarios in which they can clinch a playoff berth, a division, a first-round bye or home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. We’ll explore all of those scenarios, from the straightforward (Chiefs will have home-field advantage if they win) to the remote (Steelers will be a wild card if they win, and the Ravens win, and the Titans and Colts tie).

Here are the Week 17 playoff scenarios, as distributed by the NFL:

NFC

CLINCHED:
New Orleans Saints – NFC South division title and home-field advantage
Los Angeles Rams – NFC West division title
Chicago Bears – NFC North division title
Dallas Cowboys – NFC East division title
Seattle Seahawks – playoff berth


LOS ANGELES RAMS (12-3) (vs. San Francisco (4-11), Sunday, 4:25 PM ET, FOX)

Los Angeles clinches a first-round bye with:

LAR win or tie OR
CHI loss or tie


CHICAGO BEARS (11-4) (at Minnesota (8-6-1), Sunday, 4:25 PM ET, FOX)

Chicago clinches a first-round bye with:

CHI win + LAR loss


MINNESOTA VIKINGS (8-6-1) (vs. Chicago (11-4), Sunday, 4:25 PM ET, FOX)

Minnesota clinches a playoff berth with:

MIN win or tie OR
PHI loss or tie


PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (8-7) (at Washington (7-8), Sunday, 4:25 PM ET, FOX)

Philadelphia clinches a playoff berth with:

PHI win + MIN loss


AFC
CLINCHED:
Kansas City Chiefs – Playoff berth
Los Angeles Chargers – Playoff berth
New England Patriots – AFC East division title
Houston Texans – Playoff berth​


KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (11-4) (vs. Oakland (4-11), Sunday, 4:25 PM ET, CBS)

Kansas City clinches AFC West division title and home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:

KC win OR
KC tie + LAC loss or tie OR
LAC loss + NE loss or tie + HOU loss or tie OR
LAC loss + NE loss or tie + KC clinches at least a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over HOU

Kansas City clinches AFC West division title and a first-round bye with:

LAC loss + NE loss or tie OR
LAC loss + HOU loss or tie
LAC loss + KC clinches at least a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over HOU

Kansas City clinches AFC West division title with:

LAC loss OR
KC tie + LAC tie


NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (10-5) (vs. New York Jets (4-11), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

New England clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:

NE win + KC loss + LAC loss

New England clinches a first-round bye with:

NE win OR
NE tie + HOU loss or tie OR
BAL loss or tie + HOU loss + TEN loss or tie


HOUSTON TEXANS (10-5) (vs. Jacksonville (5-10), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

Houston clinches AFC South division title and home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:

HOU win + NE loss or tie + KC loss + LAC loss + HOU clinches a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over KC

Houston clinches AFC South division title and a first-round bye with:

HOU win + NE loss or tie OR
HOU win + KC loss + LAC loss + HOU clinches a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over KC OR
HOU tie + NE loss OR
IND-TEN tie + NE loss + BAL win + HOU clinches a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over BAL

Houston clinches AFC South division title with:

HOU win or tie OR
IND-TEN tie


BALTIMORE RAVENS (9-6) (vs. Cleveland (7-7-1), Sunday, 4:25 PM ET, CBS)

Baltimore clinches AFC North division title and a first-round bye with:

BAL win + NE loss + HOU loss + IND-TEN does not end in a tie OR
BAL win + NE loss + HOU loss + BAL clinches at least a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over HOU

Baltimore clinches AFC North division title with:

BAL win OR
PIT loss OR
BAL tie + PIT tie

Baltimore clinches a playoff berth with:

BAL tie + IND-TEN tie


LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (11-4) (at Denver (6-9), Sunday, 4:25 PM ET, CBS)

Los Angeles clinches AFC West division title and home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:

LAC win + KC loss or tie OR
LAC tie + KC loss


INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (9-6) (at Tennessee (9-6), Sunday night, 8:20 PM ET, NBC)

Indianapolis clinches AFC South division title with:

IND win + HOU loss

Indianapolis clinches a playoff berth with:

IND win OR
IND tie + PIT loss or tie OR
IND tie + BAL loss


TENNESSEE TITANS (9-6) (vs. Indianapolis (9-6), Sunday night, 8:20 PM ET, NBC)

Tennessee clinches AFC South division title and first-round bye with:

TEN win + HOU loss + NE loss + BAL loss or tie

Tennessee clinches AFC South division title with:

TEN win + HOU loss

Tennessee clinches a playoff berth with:

TEN win


PITTSBURGH STEELERS (8-6-1) (vs. Cincinnati (6-9), Sunday, 4:25 PM ET, CBS)

Pittsburgh clinches AFC North division title with:

PIT win + BAL loss or tie OR
PIT tie + BAL loss

Pittsburgh clinches a playoff berth with:

PIT win + IND-TEN tie

37 responses to “12 teams have playoff clinching scenarios for Week 17

  1. Baltimore and Pittsburgh should be thankful Hue Jackson was coaching the browns for the first half of the season, otherwise theres no doubt that Cleveland would be playing for a division title/playoff spot.

  2. The Raiders have a chance to play spoiler for the Chiefs. They can make them go from the #1 seed , all the way down to the # 5 seed if the Raiders beat them. I would prefer to help out the Chargers more than the Chiefs. Just for old time sake’s.

  3. wib22 says:
    December 25, 2018 at 1:46 pm
    Darnold will be enough to beat New England.
    ————————
    I agree….in 3-4 years after Brady retires he just may….

  4. The Bears actually get to pick their opponent. If they lay down and rest starters against the Vikings they play them again next week. If they play to win they get to play Philly.

  5. Make no mistake, this is the Jets AFC Championship Game. They will be throwing everything they can at Brady on Defense. Brady cannot evade the Rush anymore, he is off on his throws, his O-Line sucks and he is easily sacked. Add to that Edelman is dropping critical passes, Gronk is injured, Hogan is disconnected from Brady and Clutch Danny Amendola is gone.
    Belichick is battling dimentia ever since he benched Butler = he lets go of Dion Lewis and Amendola but keeps the useless Dorsett and Cody Hollister. Trades for a wasted Gordon when that postion and time should of been used more wisely. He destroyed the defense by not replacing a much needed DE and LB.
    Would not surprise me if Jets win and Pats loose their Playoff-Bye.
    If Pats meet the Ravens you put make some big $$$ by betting on the Ravens as this is a 2009 repeat where the Pats lost the game from the very first Baltimore drive on Ray Rice 83 yard TD run.
    Kraft needs to remove BB from the Draft process and go all out for a top 5 Defense. 2019 is Brady’s and the Patriots last chance at a SB run – the Pats Dynasty has run its course.

  6. I want to see the two Westlake High School QB’s face off in the NFCCG. We’ll never hear the end of why Texas didn’t offer either one of them a scholarship.

  7. Clara should draft their future franchise QB and trade Mr. Glass to whoever will take that contract……..I don’t think anybody would give them more than a 6th and ask for 30-40 million to make Jimmy G’s contract more manageable but they could undo that mistake right now instead of wallow in it.

  8. If you think the Cleveland Browns are going to beat the Baltimore Ravens and help the Pittsburgh Steelers get into the playoffs, you are deceived about this great rivalry. If The Cleveland Browns and their great fans every wanted to celebrate a loss- this is it. There is nothing greater for the Cleveland Browns and their fans then watching the Pittsburgh Steelers getting knocked out of the playoffs!

  9. Add Seahawks to clinching senerios; win and they lock in 5th seed. Lose and Vikings win, they end up at number 6. Not so dramatic, but still a scenario.

  10. The last time my Ravens won a Super Bowl was 2012.

    Tainted though because Ray Lewis took illegal deer antler spray. I guess he really was afraid of Tom Brady and afraid of the great Patriots fans.

  11. wib22 says:
    December 25, 2018 at 5:19 pm
    The last time the Patriots won a road playoff game was in January 2007.

    It’s not happening again.

    ***

    Reported for impersonation, a violation of board rules. I am the reap wib22.

  12. Teams that have Lamar Jackson starting can’t be taken seriously unfortunately.

    Tebow won a playoff game. Jackson won’t win any. Therefore, Tebow > Jackson.

  13. Would be pretty amazing if it works out on Sunday night where Tenessee is the #2 seed with a win but completely out with a loss or tie.

  14. Packer fans reduced to rooting for the Bears and Philly. Quite embarrassing for them and, frankly, very amusing. Wonder how many sub 500 seasons before we don’t see them on message boards at all? SKOL!

  15. Imagine the Vikings signing Kirk Cousins to such a huge contract after last year’s success with Keenum and NOT even making the playoffs this year…hilarious.

    Green Bay fans are a little bit bummed this holiday season but that might cheer them up a little.

    As a Seahawks fan I am also really enjoying being overachievers…being the underdog is fun when you win. Don’t know how much longer they will be the underdog so I am enjoying this while I can.

    The pressure to win when everyone picks you to win is something else entirely and leads to a lot of dissappointment when you don’t. This year has been a refreshing change from the past few.

  16. If Vikings win and seattle loses and both win 2 games in the play-offs.
    I do not think either the Seahawks or the Vikings are going to lose.

  17. I do believe neither Case Keenum or Sam Bradford both previous Vikings # 1 QB have led their new teams to be play-offs. So if Case had stayed in Minnesota the current position may have been worse or the same with given his one exceptional year.

    There are also other very good healthy QB’s whose team has already been eliminated.
    A Rogers, Matt Stafford, Matty Ice.

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