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NFL Playoff picture and clinching scenarios Week 15

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Week 15 of the NFL season means there are more clinching scenarios starting to pop up.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL’s Week 15 schedule is under way with last night’s Thursday Night Football game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Los Angeles Rams. It will continue with tomorrow night’s Miami Dolphins at New York Jets game before heading into a Sunday slate of game filled with Playoff implications. Who could clinch a playoff berth this weekend and who can position themselves for byes or division titles? We run through all of the clinching scenarios for Week 15.

Heading into the weekend, the New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys hold the top seeds in the AFC and NFC, respectively. They are followed by the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC and the Detroit Lions in the NFC. The third seed on the AFC side currently belongs to the Pittsburgh Steelers, while the NFC’s third seed are the Seahawks, who clinched the NFC title with their win on Thursday. The fourth seeds in the two conferences are then the Houston Texans in the AFC and the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC.

The AFC’s Wildcard teams are currently the Oakland Raiders and the Denver Broncos, meaning the AFC West is currently in position to get three teams into the postseason. On the NFC side, the New York Giants and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the two Wildcard teams.

The full standings and clinching scenarios are:

AFC Playoff Picture:

1. New England Patriots (11-2) - AFC East leader

2. Kansas City Chiefs (10-3) - AFC West leader

3. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5) - AFC North leader

4. Houston Texans (7-6) - AFC South loeader

5. Oakland Raiders (10-3) - Wildcard 1

6. Denver Broncos (8-5) - Wildcard 2

In the hunt:

Miami Dolphins (8-5)
Baltimore Ravens (7-6)
Tennessee Titans (7-6)
Indianapolis Colts (6-7)
Buffalo Bills (6-7)
Cincinnati Bengals (5-7-1)
San Diego Chargers (5-8)

Eliminated:

New York Jets (4-9)
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-11)
Cleveland Browns (0-13)

NFL Playoff Picture:

1. Dallas Cowboys (11-2) - NFC East leader (clinched playoff berth)

2. Detroit Lions (9-4) - NFC North leader

3. Seattle Seahawks (9-4-1) - NFC West champion

4. Atlanta Falcons (8-5) - NFC South leader

5. New York Giants (9-4) - Wildcard 1

6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5) - Wildcard 2

In the hunt:

Washington Redskins (7-5-1)
Minnesota Vikings (7-6)
Green Bay Packers (7-6)
Arizona Cardinals (5-7-1)
New Orleans Saints (5-8)
Carolina Panthers (5-8)
Philadelphia Eagles (5-8)

Eliminated:

Los Angeles Rams (4-10)
Chicago Bears (3-10)
San Francisco 49ers (1-12)

Playoff Scenarios Week 15

New England Patriots

Clinch AFC East with:

  • Win/tie OR
  • Miami loss/tie

Clinch first-round bye with:

  • Win/tie OR
  • Miami loss/tie and Pittsburgh loss/tie OR
  • Miami loss/tie and Kansas City win

Kansas City Chiefs

Clinch playoff berth with:

  • Win OR
  • Kansas City tie and Miami loss OR
  • Kansas City tie and Denver loss/tie OR
  • Denver loss and Baltimore loss/tie OR
  • Denver loss and Pittsburgh loss/tie

Oakland Raiders

Clinch playoff berth with:

  • Win OR
  • Tie and Miami loss OR
  • Tie and Denver loss OR
  • Tie and Miami tie and Denver tie OR
  • Tie and Miami tie and Kansas City win OR
  • Miami loss and Pittsburgh loss/tie and Denver loss OR
  • Miami loss and Pittsburgh loss/tie and Kansas City win/tie OR
  • Miami loss and Baltimore loss/tie and Denver loss OR
  • Miami loss and Baltimore loss/tie and Kansas City win/tie

Dallas Cowboys
(Playoff berth clinched)

Clinch NFC East with:

  • Win and New York Giants loss/tie OR
  • Tie and New York Giants loss

Clinch home-field advantage throughout playoffs (number one seed) with:

  • Win and New York Giants/Detroit Lions tie

Detroit Lions

Clinch NFC North with:

  • Win and Green Bay loss/tie OR
  • Tie and Green Bay loss and Minnesota loss/tie

Seattle Seahawks

Clinched NFC West with win on Thursday.

New York Giants

Clinch playoff berth with:

  • Win and Washington loss and Minnesota loss/tie and Green Bay loss/tie