NFL playoff clinching scenarios for Week 17: Which teams can lock in postseason spots

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There are just two weeks remaining in the NFL regular season, and the playoff picture is becoming more clear.

Seven teams have clinched postseason berths, including four in the NFC: the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys. In the AFC, the Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins and Cleveland Browns are the teams that have clinched. That means seven more spots are on the line in Weeks 17 and 18, as the playoffs begin Jan. 13.

There are five AFC teams at 8-7, including a three-way tie atop the South. In the NFC, the final three teams in the current playoff field are 8-7 — but there are four more teams on the outside looking in at 7-8.

Here is the current playoff picture for Week 17, along with the clinching scenarios for the weekend:

More coverage:
Projecting the final seeding
FPI ratings for every team
Projected 2024 draft order

NFL playoff matchups as things stand

AFC


NFC

Week 17 playoff-clinching scenarios in the AFC

The matchup: vs. Miami on Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

What’s at stake: Baltimore will clinch the AFC North title with a win or tie. It will clinch the 1-seed in the AFC with a win.


The matchup: at Baltimore on Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

What’s at stake: Miami will clinch the AFC East title with a win or tie OR a Buffalo loss or tie.


The matchup: vs. New England on Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

How the Bills can clinch a playoff berth:

  • Buffalo win + Pittsburgh loss or tie + Cincinnati loss or tie OR

  • Buffalo win + Pittsburgh loss or tie + Jacksonville loss or tie OR

  • Buffalo win + Pittsburgh loss or tie + Houston loss or tie + Indianapolis loss or tie OR

  • Buffalo win + Cincinnati loss or tie + Jacksonville loss or tie OR

  • Buffalo win + Cincinnati loss or tie + Houston loss or tie + Indianapolis loss or tie OR

  • Buffalo tie + Pittsburgh loss + Cincinnati loss + Jacksonville loss OR

  • Buffalo tie + Pittsburgh loss + Cincinnati loss + Houston loss or tie OR

  • Buffalo tie + Pittsburgh loss + Cincinnati loss + Indianapolis loss or tie OR

  • Buffalo tie + Pittsburgh loss + Jacksonville loss + Houston loss or tie OR

  • Buffalo tie + Pittsburgh loss + Jacksonville loss + Indianapolis loss or tie OR

  • Buffalo tie + Pittsburgh loss + Houston loss + Indianapolis loss OR

  • Buffalo tie + Cincinnati loss + Jacksonville loss + Houston loss or tie OR

  • Buffalo tie + Cincinnati loss + Jacksonville loss + Indianapolis loss or tie OR

  • Buffalo tie + Cincinnati loss + Houston loss + Indianapolis loss


The matchup: vs. Carolina on Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

What’s at stake: Jacksonville will clinch a playoff berth and AFC South title with a win plus losses by Indianapolis and Houston.


The matchup: vs. Cincinnati on Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS

What’s at stake: Kansas City will clinch a playoff berth and AFC West title with a win or tie OR a Las Vegas loss or tie plus a Denver loss or tie.


The Browns clinched a playoff berth with a 37-20 win over the Jets on Thursday night. Since returning to the NFL in 1999, the Browns have only been to the postseason in 2002 and 2020.

Week 17 playoff-clinching scenarios in the NFC

The matchup: vs. Arizona on Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox

What’s at stake: Philadelphia will clinch the NFC East title with a win plus a Dallas loss or tie OR a tie plus a Dallas loss.


The matchup: at Washington on Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox

What’s at stake: San Francisco will clinch the 1-seed in the NFC with a win plus a Detroit loss plus a Philadelphia loss.


The matchup: at New York Giants on Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox

What’s at stake: Los Angeles will clinch a playoff berth with a win plus a Seattle loss OR a win plus a tie in the Green Bay-Minnesota game.


The matchup: vs. New Orleans on Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox

What’s at stake: Tampa Bay will clinch a playoff berth and NFC South title with a win OR a tie plus an Atlanta loss.


The matchup: vs. Pittsburgh on Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, Fox

What’s at stake: Seattle will clinch a playoff berth with a win plus a tie in the Green Bay-Minnesota game.



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