As Week 14 of the 2018 NFL regular season arrives, there is only one team that has actually secured a playoff spot and that team resides in Los Angeles. The Rams currently sit atop the NFC standings and have already locked up the NFC West crown. With just a month remaining in the regular season, five more teams have the opportunity to enter the postseason this weekend and here are all the playoff-clinching scenarios.
The NFL standings are shown on ESPN and detail how things look for all eight divisions throughout the league. No one has clinched anything in the AFC and every single team is still alive, except for the Oakland Raiders, who have been mathematically eliminated in Jon Gruden’s first year back as head coach.
Over in the NFC, things are a bit more complicated, as there are still many teams alive. Only the San Francisco 49ers have been eliminated, but more spots are open. In Week 14, only one team can possibly clinch a playoff spot and they can also win their division in what looks to be a magical season.
The New Orleans Saints may have had their 10-game win streak ended last week by the Dallas Cowboys, but they still control their own destiny in the NFC South.
The New Orleans Saints play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, and these are their clinching scenarios.
New Orleans clinches the NFC South title with:
1.) Saints win or tie OR
2.) Panthers loss or tie
New Orleans clinches a playoff berth with:
1.) Vikings loss + Redskins loss or tie + Eagles loss or tie
The Los Angeles Rams have already won their division and have a spot in the playoffs, but there is more still on the line. The Rams travel to Chicago to take on the Bears on Sunday night.
Los Angeles clinches a first-round bye with:
1.) Rams win
Kansas City takes on the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday and they can secure a playoff berth as well.
Kansas City clinches a playoff berth with:
1.) Chiefs win or tie OR
2.) Dolphins loss or tie + Titans loss or tie + Colts loss or tie
The Houston Texans are on a huge hot streak right now and will play the Indianapolis Colts at home on Sunday afternoon.
Houston clinches AFC South title with:
1.) Texans win + Titans loss or tie OR
2.) Texans tie + Titans loss
The Los Angeles Chargers are also tearing things up this season with a 9-3 record and they will welcome the Cincinnati Bengals for a game on Sunday. While they’re doing well, they would need a lot of help to get into the playoffs this weekend.
Los Angeles clinches a playoff berth with:
1.) Chargers win + Broncos loss or tie + Titans loss or tie + Dolphins loss or tie + Colts loss or tie OR
2.) Chargers tie + Broncos loss + Titans loss + Dolphins loss + Colts loss or tie as long as both the Titans and Colts don’t tie
The New England Patriots play division rival Miami on Sunday and can find themselves in the postseason again after Week 14.
New England clinches a playoff berth with:
1.) Patriots win or tie
It has been a rather wild regular season for the NFL in 2018, and it is still far from over even with just one month remaining. The New Orleans Saints can win the NFC South this weekend, while the Los Angeles Rams can snag a first-round bye. In the AFC, four teams can land in the postseason if the cards all go their way. Week 14 is going to be a fun one, and these playoff-clinching scenarios have a handful of teams with big goals in mind.