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Who has clinched a 2022 NFL playoff spot?

The NFL playoff chase is on, and some teams are ahead of the game, already securing a spot in the 2022 NFL playoffs. We’ll run down every team as they clinch their spot in the playoffs.

Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones (33) celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown during the second half against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL playoffs are less than a month away and a season of incredible parity — or mediocrity? — means we have had to wait until late December to start seeing teams secure playoff berths. The addition of two more playoff teams coupled with a 17-game schedule only furthered the chaos this season.

We’ll be updating this article with each team that clinches a playoff spot until we have the final 14-team playoff pool. We’ll include a brief look at how they clinched and what happened with their season that led to this point. Each team is listed with their record at the time of clinching their playoff berth.

Green Bay Packers (11-3)

When they clinched: Week 15

How they clinched: 31-30 win over the Ravens clinched the NFC North division title.

What went right: There was plenty of drama around Aaron Rodgers this year, and in spite of that the team persevered. In spite of trade demands and COVID-19 drama, Rodgers has put together an MVP-caliber season and Green Bay rolled through the NFC North. They hold the top seed in the conference coming out of Week 15, and a winter playoff trip to Lambeau Field is not something any other team wants.

Dallas Cowboys (10-4)

When they clinched: Week 16

How they clinched: 49ers 20-17 loss to the Titans. They can clinch the division with a win or Eagles loss/tie on Sunday.

What went right: It’s been a wild year in Dallas. Dak Prescott has struggled at times since his calf injury earlier in the season. That and both running backs dealing with injuries has left Dallas’ offense struggling to get on track. Fortunately for them, the defense has carried the load for the second half of the season. If the offense can get on track, this Cowboys squad is incredibly dangerous.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-4)

When they clinched: Week 16

How they clinched: 32-6 win over the Panthers clinched the NFC South title.

What went right: They’ve dealt with an assortment of injuries to their skill positions but they overcame that with Tom Brady playing some of the best football of his career. The defense ranked seventh in the league in efficiency coming into Week 16. They’ll need to overcome the loss of Chris Godwin and a still limited Mike Evans and Leonard Fournette, but they have as good a chance as any team of winning the Super Bowl this year.

Los Angeles Rams (11-4)

When they clinched: Week 16

How they clinched: 30-23 win over the Vikings. Can clinch NFC West title with a win and Cardinals loss in Week 17.

What went right: The team “went all in” with multiple big trades and they have mostly panned out well. Matthew Stafford has stumbled at times but the offense is clicking in the final weeks of the season. The defense ranked sixth in efficiency coming into Week 16, but will look to get more on track after some consistency issues.

Arizona Cardinals (10-5)

When they clinched: Week 16

How they clinched: Vikings and 49ers losing secured a wild card berth in spite of the Cardinals losing to the Colts.

What went right: They’re scuffling down the stretch but they gave themselves a ton of breathing room with a fast start to the season. Kyler Murray looked like a world-beater and Kliff Kingsbury was impressing with his play-calling. That’s changed in recent weeks with three straight losses to the Rams, Lions, and Colts, but they will at least get a chance to redeem themselves in the playoffs.

Kansas City Chiefs (11-4)

When they clinched: Week 16

How they clinched: The Chiefs beat the Steelers and the Chargers lost to the Texans.

What went right: This has been a wild up-and-down year for Kansas City. After beating the Browns in Week 1, they lost four of six and actually found themselves in last place in the division. They got back to winning by beating a bad Giants team, but then started making statements with wins over the Packers, Raiders, and Cowboys heading into their bye. They’ve won eight straight to clinch the division, and currently have the best record in the AFC.

Buffalo Bills (10-6)

When they clinched: Week 17

How they clinched: Bills beat the Falcons

What went right: This Buffalo offense finally showed some balance and used its running game in key spots. The Bills have a strong defense as well, which made key stops down the stretch of this Week 17 contest. Buffalo will hope to keep this momentum going into the postseason.

Cincinnati Bengals (10-6)

When they clinched: Week 17

How they clinched: The Bengals beat the Chiefs in a shootout.

What went right: The Joe Burrow-Ja’Marr Chase connection continues to pay off for the Bengals. The rookie set a receiving record in Week 17, and Burrow continues to show he’s a franchise quarterback. Cincinnati’s defense is playing well, but this offense is proving it can score with the best of them. Look out for the Bengals in the playoffs.

New England Patriots (10-6)

When they clinched: Week 17

How they clinched: The Patriots beat the Jaguars.

What went right: After a middling start, the Patriots got back to their formula of running the football and playing excellent defense. Mac Jones has made plays when needed, but this has mainly been a methodical football team that doesn’t make mistakes and lets the opponent beat itself.

Tennessee Titans (11-5)

When they clinched: Week 17

How they clinched: The Titans beat the Dolphins, which gave them the division. They would’ve gotten in anyway as the Colts lost to the Raiders.

What went right: Even with plenty of massive injuries, the Titans have simply found a way to win games with Ryan Tannehill and their defense. Now, Derrick Henry is reportedly set to come back in a week or two. That makes what was already a dangerous team even more potent in the playoffs.

Philadelphia Eagles (9-7)

When they clinched: Week 17

How they clinched: The Eagles beat Washington and they got in thanks to a combination of the 49ers beating the Texans and the Vikings losing to the Packers.

What went right: The Eagles ground game keyed this team, with a combination of backs building the fourth most efficient rushing attack in 2021. Jalen Hurts came into the season with questions, but put together a solid year in the face of criticism. He was not the most efficient of quarterbacks, but he was a critical part of the rushing attack, ranking first among all quarterbacks in rushing performance.

San Francisco 49ers (10-7)

When they clinched: Week 18

How they clinched: Beat Rams in Week 18 to clinch

What went right: There was no quit in this team. The 49ers looked lost before suddenly waking up to beat the Rams in a Week 10 contest. That win translated to a red-hot stretch for the team, which was capped by a 27-24 overtime victory against the Rams in Week 18 after falling behind 17-0. This could be the hottest team entering the postseason.