February 25, 2021

NFL playoff-clinching scenarios heading into Week 17

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Week 16 of the 2020 NFL season is almost over, and it has provided a lot of answers to our questions on which teams would make the playoffs, and what seeds they would occupy.

But much remains to be determined, as can be seen by reading our latest updates to the NFL playoff picture.

In the AFC, the Chiefs are in (and have clinched the No. 1 seed), as are the division champion Bills and Steelers. The AFC South title remains up for grabs, as do the wild cards, with four clubs looking to land one of three.

Over in the NFC, the Packers, Saints and Seahawks have all clinched their respective divisions, while the Buccaneers have secured a wild card. Three of four NFC East teams remain in play for the division title, with three other teams vying for the remaining two wild cards.

Here are the clinching scenarios in Week 17 for each team to make the postseason:


Race for the NFC wild-card spots

  • Rams clinch with win OR Bears loss.

  • Bears clinch with win OR Cardinals loss.

  • Cardinals clinch with win.

Race for NFC home-field advantage

Packers clinch with:

  1. Win OR

  2. Seattle loss

Saints clinch with:

  1. Win plus Green Bay loss plus Seattle win.

Seahawks clinch with:

  1. Win plus New Orleans loss plus Green Bay loss.

Race for the NFC East title

AFC playoff-clinching scenarios for Week 17

  • Titans: Win OR Baltimore loss OR Indianapolis loss OR Miami loss.

  • Dolphins: Win OR Baltimore loss OR Cleveland loss OR Indianapolis loss.

  • Ravens: Win OR Cleveland loss OR Indianapolis loss.

  • Browns: Win OR Indianapolis loss OR Tennessee loss plus Baltimore win plus Indianapolis win plus Miami win.

  • Colts: Win AND one of the following: Tennessee loss/Baltimore loss/Cleveland loss/Miami loss.

Race for the AFC South title

  • Titans clinch with win OR Colts loss.

  • Colts clinch with win plus Titans loss.

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