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NFL playoff clinching scenarios: Here’s how all teams with a postseason chance can make it in Week 17

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The NFL playoff races are coming down to the wire in both conferences, as four spots are up for grabs in the AFC (with six teams in the hunt) and three spots available in the NFC (with six teams still in play for those spots). The NFC East and AFC South need a champion while all three wild card spots are available in the AFC with two left to be claimed in the NFC. 

Many teams do not have their playoff fate set — whether they are already in the postseason and just need to be seeded or aren’t in the playoffs altogether. Here are the playoff-clinching scenarios for Week 17.:

AFC South

Titans and Colts

Titans (at Texans)

  • Clinch division with win OR Colts loss

Colts (vs. Jaguars)

  • Clinch division with win AND Titans loss

AFC wild card

Titans, Dolphins, Ravens, Browns, and Colts

Titans (at Texans)

Dolphins (at Bills)

Ravens (at Bengals)

Browns (vs. Steelers)

  1. Titans loss AND Ravens win OR
  2. Titans loss AND Colts win OR
  3. Titans loss AND Dolphins win

Colts (vs. Jaguars)

  • Clinch wild card berth with win AND Ravens OR Dolphins OR Browns loss

NFC home-field advantage

Packers, Saints, and Seahawks

Packers (at Bears)

Saints (at Panthers)

  • Win AND a Packers loss AND a Seahawks win 

Seahawks (at 49ers)

  • Win AND a Packers loss AND a Saints loss

NFC wild card

Rams, Bears, and Cardinals

Rams (vs. Cardinals)

Bears (vs. Packers)

Cardinals (at Rams)

NFC East

Washington, Giants, and Cowboys

Washington (at Eagles)

Giants (vs. Cowboys)

Cowboys (at Giants)




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