NFL Playoffs: Week 16 Clinching Scenarios For Many Potential 2015 NFL Playoff Teams

Entering Week 16 of the 2014-2015 NFL season, only four teams have secured the 12 spots for the 2015 NFL Playoffs. Those teams are the New England Patriots, Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts in the AFC, while the Arizona Cardinals remain the lone team to have punched their ticket in the NFC. With just two weeks left in the regular season and still eight spots up for grabs, Week 16 offers plenty of potential clinching scenarios for teams looking to lock up a spot in the postseason, as well as some who are looking to either earn a bye, clinch home-field advantage or improve their seeding.

Here are the following NFL Playoffs clinching scenarios for teams in the AFC:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

New England can clinch home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs with:
1) NE win + DEN loss

New England can clinch a first-round bye with:
1) NE win
2) NE tie + IND loss or tie
3) IND loss + CIN loss or tie + PIT loss or tie + BAL loss or tie

DENVER BRONCOS

Denver can clinch a first-round bye with:
1) DEN win
2) DEN tie + IND loss or tie

CINCINNATI BENGALS

Cincinnati can clinch the AFC North division title with:
1) CIN win + PIT loss + BAL loss or tie

Cincinnati can clinch a playoff spot with:
1) CIN win
2) CIN tie + BAL loss
3) CIN tie + KC loss or tie + SD loss or tie
4) KC loss + SD loss + BUF loss or tie

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

Pittsburgh can clinch a playoff spot with:
1) PIT win

BALTIMORE RAVENS

Baltimore can clinch a playoff spot with:
1) BAL win + PIT loss + CIN loss
2) BAL win + KC loss or tie + SD loss or tie
3) BAL tie + KC loss + SD loss + BUF loss or tie

Still in the chase: Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers, Buffalo Bills, Houston Texans, Miami Dolphins & Cleveland Browns.

Here are the following NFL Playoffs clinching scenarios for teams in the NFC:

ARIZONA CARDINALS

Arizona can clinch the NFC West division title and home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:
1) ARI win

DETROIT LIONS

Detroit can clinch the NFC North with:
1) DET win + GB loss

Detroit can clinch a first-round bye with:
1) DET win + GB loss + DAL loss

Detroit can clinch a playoff spot with:
1) DET win
2) DET tie + PHI loss or tie
3) PHI loss

DALLAS COWBOYS

Dallas can clinch the NFC East division title with:
1) DAL win + PHI loss or tie
2) DAL tie + PHI loss

Dallas can clinch a playoff berth with:
1) DAL win + GB loss or tie + DET loss or tie as long as both don’t tie

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Seattle can clinch a playoff spot with:
1) SEA win + PHI loss or tie
2) SEA win + DET loss or tie
3) SEA win + GB loss or tie
4) SEA tie + PHI loss
5) SEA tie + DET loss + GB loss
6) PHI loss + DAL win or tie

GREEN BAY PACKERS

Green Bay can clinch a playoff spot with:
1) GB win + PHI loss or tie
2) GB win + DAL win or tie
3) GB tie + PHI loss
4) GB tie + PHI tie + DAL win or tie
5) PHI loss + DAL win or tie

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

New Orleans can clinch the NFC South division title with:
1) NO win + CAR loss

Still in the chase: Philadelphia Eagles.

Don’t forget that there are NFL tickets available here!

About the author

Rob Kelley is a sports reporter for various newspapers in Florida, and is trying to break back into the sports writing game after a brief hiatus following the publishing of his first book, I'm Not a Quitter. He recently resigned as Editor-in-Chief and lead writer for The South Shore Magazine to pursue better opportunities. You can follow him on Twitter @RobKelley24.