Nine NFL teams can clinch a playoff spot this weekend. Here's how for each
Teams who have already clinched are the Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs and AFC South champion Indianapolis Colts. They are not a part of this conversation. This conversation is about teams who are still fighting for playoff spots, and how they can clinch this Sunday.
And the clinching will begin no earlier than Sunday. Effective this week, there are no more of those awful-but-I-watch-them-anyway Thursday night NFL Network games! Here are the Week 16 playoff scenarios for teams who can clinch Sunday.
HOW THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS CAN CLINCH SUNDAY
Sunday's chokeroo loss to Miami kept the Patriots from winning the AFC East. New England can make up for it Sunday.
If the New England beats Baltimore (in Baltimore, Ravens favored by 1.5) plus Miami loses to Buffalo (in Buffalo, Dolphins favored by 3) then New England would win the AFC East outright on Sunday.
Even if New England loses, they can still clinch a playoff spot on Sunday -- but it would involve a significant upset.
If Cincinnati loses to Minnesota (In Cincinnati, Bengals favored by 8) then New England is assured of no less than a wild card slot.
HOW THE CINCINNATI BENGALS CAN CLINCH SUNDAY
Win and you're in, Bengals fans. And the good news is you're playing the Vikings Sunday.
If Cincinnati beats Minnesota (In Cincinnati, Bengals favored by 8), then they are assured of no less than an AFC wild card spot.
If Cincinnati beats Minnesota plus Baltimore loses to New England (in Baltimore, Ravens favored by 1.5), then the Bengals will be AFC North champions.
HOW THE BALTIMORE RAVENS CAN CLINCH SUNDAY
Okay now we go into the "needs help" classification of Sunday's playoff clinch-eligible teams. But the Baltimore Ravens still have a great shot at winning the AFC North, if not a wild card spot.
If Baltimore beats New England (in Baltimore, Ravens favored by 1.5) plus Miami loses to Buffalo (in Buffalo, Dolphins favored by 3) and San Diego loses to Oakland (in San Diego, Chargers favored by 10), the Ravens will clinch an AFC playoff spot Sunday.
If Baltimore loses to New England on Sunday, they can still win the AFC North -- if the Bengals lose to Minnesota at home. The Ravens play the Bengals in Cincinnati for Week 17, and could sweep Cincinnati to win the AFC North.
There are also playoff clinching scenarios this Sunday for the Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles. Click on for more clinch-age....