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The playoff clinching scenarios heading into Week 17

The NFL Playoffs get going next week, and the playoff backet will be finalized in Week 17. We break down the scenarios.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates a touchdown with Davante Adams #17 against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at Lambeau Field on December 27, 2020 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Sunday 4:25 p.m. update: The Packers, Saints, and Seahawks all won to secure the No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3 positions in the NFC. The Titans won to clinch the AFC South and the Colts won to claim the last wild card spot, knocking Miami out of the playoff picture.

Sunday 1 p.m. update: The wrap of the early games has finalized a few playoff teams. The Ravens and Browns both won and clinched a playoff berth. The Dolphins lost, which means they now have to wait and see if the Colts win or loss. If Indy wins, Miami is headed home for the offseason. The Bucs beat the Falcons to clinch the No. 5 seed.

Week 17 is upon us. After a topsy-turvy four months, the regular season comes to a close this Sunday and then it’s on to the 2021 NFL playoffs. We have no Thursday Night Football or Monday Night Football. The season comes down to Sunday. Games are split evenly between the 1 p.m. and 4:25 p.m. slates, which cuts down on how many teams will know whether or not they can rest starters. And everything closes with Sunday Night Football to decide the NFC East.

The NFL released its final set of playoff clinching scenarios for Week 17 and everything will be settled. The Packers, Saints, and Seahawks are competing for the NFC’s No. 1 seed. The Titans and Colts are competing for the AFC South and the Cowboys, Giants, and Washington are competing for the NFC East. Finally, we have four teams competing for three wild card berths in the AFC and three teams competing for two wild card berths in the NFC.

Clinched division title: Kansas City Chiefs, Green Bay Packers, Buffalo Bills, New Orleans Saints, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks
Clinched wild card berth: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Eliminated from playoff contention: New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Chargers, Houston Texans, Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers, Las Vegas Raiders, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles


Baltimore Ravens

Playoff berth

  1. BAL win OR
  2. CLE loss OR
  3. IND loss OR
  4. BAL tie + MIA loss OR
  5. BAL tie + TEN loss OR
  6. BAL tie + CLE tie OR
  7. BAL tie + IND tie

Cleveland Browns

Playoff berth

  1. CLE win OR
  2. IND loss OR
  3. TEN loss + MIA win or tie + BAL win or tie OR
  4. CLE tie + BAL loss OR
  5. CLE tie + MIA loss OR
  6. CLE tie + TEN loss OR
  7. CLE tie + IND tie OR
  8. CLE tie + TEN tie + BAL win + MIA win

Indianapolis Colts

Division title

  1. IND win + TEN loss or tie OR
  2. IND tie + TEN loss

Playoff berth

  1. IND win + BAL loss or tie OR
  2. IND win + CLE loss or tie OR
  3. IND win + MIA loss or tie OR
  4. IND tie + BAL loss OR
  5. IND tie + CLE loss OR
  6. IND tie + MIA loss

Miami Dolphins

Playoff berth

  1. MIA win OR
  2. BAL loss OR
  3. CLE loss OR
  4. IND loss OR
  5. MIA tie + BAL tie OR
  6. MIA tie + CLE tie OR
  7. MIA tie + IND tie OR
  8. MIA tie + TEN loss

Tennessee Titans

Division title

  1. TEN win OR
  2. IND loss OR
  3. TEN tie + IND tie

Playoff berth

  1. BAL loss OR
  2. MIA loss OR
  3. TEN tie + CLE loss OR
  4. TEN tie + MIA tie OR
  5. TEN tie + BAL tie


Arizona Cardinals

Playoff berth

  1. ARI win OR
  2. ARI tie + CHI loss

Chicago Bears

Playoff berth

  1. CHI win OR
  2. ARI loss OR
  3. CHI tie + ARI tie

Dallas Cowboys

Division title

  1. DAL win + WAS loss or tie OR
  2. DAL tie + WAS loss

Green Bay Packers

First round bye

  1. GB win or tie OR
  2. SEA loss or tie

Los Angeles Rams

Playoff berth

  1. LAR win or tie OR
  2. CHI loss or tie

New Orleans Saints

First round bye

NO win + GB loss + SEA win

New York Giants

Division title

NYG win + WAS loss

Seattle Seahawks

First round bye

SEA win + GB loss + NO loss or tie

Washington Football Team

Division title

  1. WAS win OR
  2. WAS tie + DAL loss or tie