NFL Playoffs Week 17 Clinching Scenarios: Chargers, Ravens, Texans, Chiefs, Panthers And Falcons Fighting For Final 2 Spots

The NFL Playoffs picture became slightly more clear after this past weekend, with a few more teams securing berths into the postseason. Still, as the NFL enters into Week 17 of the regular season, six teams are still looking to clinch a spot in the playoffs, yet only two remain up for grabs. In the AFC, the San Diego Chargers can clinch the final wild card spot with a win, while the Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs would need to win plus receive help in order to get ahead of the Chargers. In the NFC, the picture is mush more clear. The only playoff spot yet to be spoken for is the NFC South champion. On Sunday, the Atlanta Falcons will square off with the Carolina Panthers, with the winner advancing to the postseason and the loser preparing for a decent draft position.

Of course, it isn’t just about which teams qualify for the NFL Playoffs. It’s also about which teams face each other, as well as which one has home field advantage. A few of those questions also remain unanswered as the NFL enters its final week of the regular season. We know that the AFC Championship will go through Foxboro, as the New England Patriots have clinched the No. 1 seed as well as a first-round bye and home field throughout the postseason. The NFC picture is much more murky, so I’ll let the information below try to make things a bit more clear.

AFC SCENARIOS: NFC SCENARIOS:
DENVER BRONCOS

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

CINCINNATI BENGALS

CINCINNATI can clinch the AFC North division title with:
1) CIN win or tie

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

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

PITTSBURGH can clinch the AFC North division title with:
1) PIT win

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

SAN DIEGO can clinch a playoff spot with:
1) SD win
2) SD tie + BAL loss or tie

BALTIMORE RAVENS

BALTIMORE can clinch a playoff spot with:
1) BAL win + SD loss or tie
2) BAL tie + SD loss

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

KANSAS CITY can clinch a playoff spot with:
1) KC win + BAL loss + HOU loss or tie

HOUSTON TEXANS

HOUSTON can clinch a playoff spot with:
1) HOU win + BAL loss + SD loss

DALLAS COWBOYS

DALLAS can clinch home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs with:
1) DAL win + ARI loss or tie + DET/GB tie

DALLAS can clinch a first-round bye with:
1) DAL win + SEA loss or tie + ARI loss or tie
2) DAL win + DET/GB tie
3) DAL tie + ARI loss or tie + SEA tie + DET/GB does not end in a tie
4) SEA loss + ARI loss

DETROIT LIONS

DETROIT can clinch the NFC North division title with:
1) DET win or tie

DETROIT can clinch home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs with:
1) DET win + SEA loss or tie + ARI loss or tie
2) DET tie + SEA loss + ARI loss + DAL loss or tie

DETROIT can clinch a first-round bye with:
1) DET win
2) DET tie + DAL loss or tie
3) DET tie + SEA loss + ARI loss

GREEN BAY PACKERS

GREEN BAY can clinch the NFC North division title and a first-round bye with:
1) GB win

GREEN BAY can clinch home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs with:
1) GB win + SEA loss or tie

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

SEATTLE can clinch the NFC West division title with:
1) SEA win
2) SEA tie + ARI loss or tie
3) ARI loss

SEATTLE can clinch home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs with:
1) SEA win + DET/GB game does not end in a tie
2) SEA win + DAL loss or tie
3) SEA tie + ARI loss or tie + DAL loss or tie + GB/DET tie

SEATTLE can clinch a first-round bye with:
1) SEA win
2) SEA tie + ARI loss or tie + DAL loss
3) SEA tie + ARI loss or tie + GB/DET tie

ARIZONA CARDINALS

ARIZONA can clinch the NFC West division title with:
1) ARI win + SEA loss or tie
2) ARI tie + SEA loss

ARIZONA can clinch home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs with:
1) ARI win + SEA loss or tie + GB loss or tie
2) ARI tie + SEA loss + DAL loss or tie + GB/DET tie

ARIZONA can clinch a first-round bye with:
1) ARI win + SEA loss or tie
2) ARI tie + SEA loss + DAL loss or tie
3) ARI tie + SEA loss + GB/DET tie

CAROLINA PANTHERS

CAROLINA can clinch the NFC South division title with:
1) CAR win or tie

ATLANTA FALCONS

ATLANTA can clinch the NFC South division title with:
1) ATL win


CURRENT AFC CLINCHES: CURRENT NFC CLINCHES:
INDIANAPOLIS — AFC South division title
NEW ENGLAND — AFC East division title, first-round bye, home-field advantage
DENVER — AFC West division title
PITTSBURGH — playoff berth
CINCINNATI — playoff berth
DALLAS — NFC East division title
ARIZONA — playoff berth
DETROIT — playoff berth
GREEN BAY — playoff berth
SEATTLE — playoff berth

Get all of that? I thought so…

 

 

About the author

Rob Kelley

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.