NFL News: Playoff Clinching Scenarios For All Teams In Week 16 – Saints, Chiefs, Steelers, Falcons, And More

Believe it or not, almost the entire playoffs can be locked up this weekend if all these things happen.

2017 2018 nfl news playoff clinching scenarios saints patriots falcons vikings steelers
Chris Graythen / Getty Images

Believe it or not, almost the entire playoffs can be locked up this weekend if all these things happen.

The 2017 NFL regular season is quickly coming to a close, but there is still a lot of football left to be played and the playoffs are beginning to take shape. With Week 16 upon us, there are a lot of teams still left alive in both conferences with numerous playoff-clinching scenarios possible. After the coming weekend’s worth of games, almost the entire 12-team field from the AFC and NFC could be set in stone.

It is quite late in the season for so many teams to be left alive, but it is true that more than half the league still has a shot at the postseason. Let’s first look at all of the teams who have been eliminated from any sort of playoff contention.

AFC

  • New York Jets
  • Cincinnati Bengals
  • Indianapolis Colts
  • Denver Broncos
  • Houston Texans
  • Cleveland Browns

NFC

  • New York Giants
  • Green Bay Packers
  • Chicago Bears
  • Arizona Cardinals
  • Washington Redskins
  • San Francisco 49ers
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers

With a loss this weekend, the Browns could lock up the number one overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. As reported by CBS Sports, though, it is oddly possible that the Browns could lock up both the number one and number two overall picks in next year’s draft.

In the AFC, there are still 10 teams alive, while the NFC has nine teams remaining in contention for a playoff spot. Depending on what happens this weekend, though, the vast majority of teams still in the hunt for a Wild Card spot could end up eliminated.

2017 2018 nfl news playoff clinching scenarios saints patriots falcons vikings steelers
  Joe Sargent / Getty Images

AFC

Currently, the seeding before any Week 16 action stands like this:

  1. New England Patriots 11-3 – Clinched AFC East
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers 11-3 – Clinched AFC North
  3. Jacksonville Jaguars 10-4 – Clinched playoff spot
  4. Kansas City Chiefs 8-6
  5. Tennessee Titans 8-6
  6. Buffalo Bills 8-6

The teams still alive for a playoff spot are (in order):

  • Baltimore Ravens 8-6
  • Los Angeles Chargers 7-7
  • Oakland Raiders 6-8
  • Miami Dolphins 6-8

Home-field advantage, first-round byes, division titles, and playoff spots can all be clinched in Week 16, and now, here are the scenarios for all AFC teams.

New England Patriots

Can clinch home-field advantage with:

  • Win and Steelers loss and Jaguars loss or tie

Can clinch a first-round bye with:

  • Win and Steelers loss OR
  • Win and Jaguars loss or tie OR
  • Tie and Jaguars loss

Pittsburgh Steelers

Can clinch a first-round bye with:

  • Win and Jaguars loss or tie OR
  • Tie and Jaguars loss

Jacksonville Jaguars

Can clinch AFC South division with:

  • Win or tie OR
  • Titans loss or tie

Kansas City Chiefs

Can clinch AFC West division with:

  • Win OR
  • Tie and Chargers loss or tie OR
  • Chargers loss

Tennessee Titans

Can clinch a playoff spot with:

  • Titans win and Ravens loss and Bills loss
2017 2018 nfl news playoff clinching scenarios saints patriots falcons vikings steelers
  Elsa / Getty Images

NFC

Currently, the seeding before any Week 16 action stands like this:

  1. Philadelphia Eagles 12-2 – Clinched first-round bye
  2. Minnesota Vikings 11-3 – Clinched NFC North
  3. Los Angeles Rams 10-4
  4. New Orleans Saints 10-4
  5. Carolina Panthers 10-4
  6. Atlanta Falcons 9-5

The teams still alive for a playoff spot are (in order):

  • Detroit Lions 8-6
  • Seattle Seahawks 8-6
  • Dallas Cowboys 8-6

Home-field advantage, first-round byes, division titles, and playoff spots can all be clinched in Week 16, and now, here are the scenarios for all NFC teams.

Philadelphia Eagles

Can clinch home-field advantage with:

  • Win OR
  • Tie and Vikings loss or tie OR
  • Vikings loss

Minnesota Vikings

Can clinch a first-round bye with:

  • Win and Panthers loss or tie OR
  • Tie and Panthers loss and Rams loss or tie and Saints loss or tie

Los Angeles Rams

Can clinch NFC West division with:

  • Win or tie OR
  • Seahawks loss or tie

Can clinch a playoff spot with:

  • Lions loss or tie and Falcons loss and Panthers loss

New Orleans Saints

Can clinch NFC South with:

  • Win and Panthers loss

Can clinch a playoff spot with:

  • Win or tie OR
  • Seahawks/Cowboys tie

Carolina Panthers

Can clinch a playoff spot with:

  • Win or tie
  • Seahawks/Cowboys tie

Atlanta Falcons

Can clinch a playoff spot with:

  • Win or tie
  • Seahawks/Cowboys tie

While it may seem like a lot, well, it actually is. The NFL playoffs may seem quite simple at times as it consists of 12 teams vying for a Super Bowl spot and ultimately, a championship. All in all, there is a lot that goes into the entire system and Week 16 of this regular season will tell a lot about who will move on into the postseason. With these playoff-clinching scenarios, you now know just who can get in and how they can do it.