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NFL Playoff Picture: Week 13 Clinching & Elimination scenarios and post TNF update

Week 13 began last night in dramatic fashion, with a controversial officiating call on what should have been the final play of regulation gi


Week 13 began last night in dramatic fashion, with a controversial officiating call on what should have been the final play of regulation giving the Packers one final opportunity to throw a successful Hail Mary to win the game. It may well be the best ending to an NFL game this season, but how how does it affect the current playoff picture? We have the full updated seeding in both conferences below, but first, we have also included the Week 13 playoff clinching and elimination scenarios! Believe it or not, all 32 teams enter Week 13 mathematically still able to make the playoffs; however, three teams could be completely eliminated from the playoff picture this week. Additionally, four teams could clinch a playoff berth this week, with three of them also able to clinch their division. Here are the clinching scenarios for Week 13:

Elimination scenarios

AFC

Tennessee Titans

The Titans are currently the ‘#16 seed’ in the AFC, but will be permanently eliminated from the playoff picture in Week 13 with a loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. This loss will eliminate them from both the AFC South championship race (which technically they are still in) and the AFC Wild Card race.

Cleveland Browns

The Browns are currently the ‘#15 seed’ in the AFC. They have already been mathematically eliminated from the AFC North championship race; they will be mathematically eliminated from the AFC Wild Card race with a loss to the Bengals this week, and with wins by the Chiefs and Jets this week.

NFC

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys, the current ‘#16 seed’ in the NFC, cannot be entirely eliminated from the playoffs in Week 13, as the earliest they can be eliminated from the NFC East championship race is Week 14. However, the Cowboys can be eliminated from the NFC Wild Card race in Week 13. Due to the Packers’ victory last night, the Cowboys will be eliminated with a loss to Washington in Week 13.

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers have already been eliminated from the NFC West championship race, but they face complete elimination from playoff picture this week. Unfortunately for San Fran, there are several scenario which can eliminate them from the playoffs. If the 49ers lose the the Bears on Sunday, then any of the following will eliminate them from the post season:

  • a Rams tie or win
  • a Giants win
  • a Bucs win
  • a Seahawks win
  • a Saints win

Division elimination

The following teams have already been eliminated from winning their divisions:

  • Cleveland Browns
  • San Diego Chargers
  • Miami Dolphins
  • Buffalo Bills
  • San Francisco 49ers
  • New Orleans Saints
  • Detroit Lions (after TNF. Had entered Week 13 still technically able to win the division)
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Additionally, the following teams could be eliminated from their division championship races in Week 13:

AFC

Tennessee Titans

The Titans are technically still in the AFC South race. However, they will be eliminated in Week 13 from being able to win the division with either a loss, or a win by the Colts, or a win by the Texans

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens are currently third in the AFC North, but they will be eliminated in the race for the division crown this week with either a loss or tie to the Dolphins, or a win or tie by the Bengals over the Browns.

Oakland Raiders

The Raiders could be eliminated from the AFC West race with a tie or loss to the Chiefs and a Denver win over the Chargers, or a loss to the Chiefs and a Denver tie or win.

New York Jets

The Jets will be eliminated from the AFC East race with a tie or loss and a Patriots win, or a loss and a Patriots win or tie.

NFC

Chicago Bears

The Bears will be eliminated from the NFC North championship race with a loss and a win or tie by the Vikings.

St Louis Rams

The Rams face the NFC West-leading Cardinals this week; if they either tie or lose to Arizona, then the Rams will be eliminated from the divisional race.

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons will be eliminated from the race for the NFC South crown with either a loss or tie, or a win or tie by the Panthers.

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks will be eliminated from the NFC West championship race with a loss and a win by the Cardinals.

Clinching scenarios

AFC

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals can guarantee themselves at least a Wild Card spot in Week 13 in the following two scenarios:

  • Bengals win over the Browns, and a Texans loss or tie, and a Colts loss or tie, and a Jets loss (as long as the Texans AND Colts don’t BOTH tie)
  • Bengals win over the Browns, and a Texans loss or tie, and a Colts loss or tie, and a Broncos win or tie, and a Chiefs loss (as long as the Texans and Colts don’t BOTH tie)

New England Patriots

The Patriots will win the AFC East this week with either a win over the Eagles and a Jets loss or tie, or a tie with the Eagles and a Jets loss. Additionally, they can guarantee themselves a Wild Card spot this week in the following four scenarios:

  • Patriots win over the Eagles and a Steelers loss or tie
  • Patriots win over the Eagles and a Chiefs loss or tie
  • Patriots tie with the Eagles and a Chiefs loss
  • Patriots tie with the Eagles and a Steelers loss and a Texans loss or tie

NFC

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers will win the NFC South this week with either a win or a tie against the Saints this Sunday, or a Falcons loss or tie. Additionally, they will clinch a playoff berth this Sunday with either a Seahawks loss or tie, or a Cardinals loss or tie.

Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals will win the NFC West this week with both a win over the Rams on Sunday, and a loss by the Seahawks. They will also guarantee themselves a playoff berth with a win over the Rams and a Falcons loss.  

Playoff Picture

AFC

#1 – New England Patriots (.909) AFC East champions #2 – Cincinnati Bengals (.818) AFC North champions #3 – Denver Broncos (.818) AFC West Champions The Bengals have a better record within the conference (.875) than the Broncos (.714) #4 – Indianapolis Colts (.545) AFC South Champions The Colts own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Texans, who have the same record as the Colts #5 – Kansas City Chiefs (.545) AFC Wild Card #1 #6 – Houston Texans (.545) AFC Wild Card #2 #7 – New York Jets (.545) #8 – Pittsburgh Steelers (.545) The Chiefs have a better record within the conference (.714) than the Texans (.571), Jets (.556) or Steelers (.429). The Texans have a better record within the conference than the Jets or Steelers. The Jets have a better record within the conference than the Steelers #9 – Oakland Raiders (.445) #10 – Buffalo Bills (.445) The Raiders have a better record within the conference (.625) than the Bills (.500) #11 – Jacksonville Jaguars (.364) #12 – Baltimore Ravens (.364) #13 – Miami Dolphins (.364) The Jaguars own the head-to-head tiebreakers over both the Ravens and Dolphins. The Ravens have a better record within the conference (.375) than the Dolphins (.250) #14 – San Diego Chargers (.273) #15 – Cleveland Browns (.182) #16 – Tennessee Titans (.182) Browns own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Titans

NFC

#1 – Carolina Panthers (1.000) NFC South Champions #2 – Arizona Cardinals (.818) NFC West Champions #3 – Minnesota Vikings (.727) NFC North Champions #4 – Washington Redskins (.455) NFC East Champions Washington have a better record within the division (.667) than the Giants (.400), who are also at .455 #5 – Green Bay Packers (.667) NFC Wild Card #1 #6 – Seattle Seahawks (.545) NFC Wild Card #2 #7 – Atlanta Falcons (.545) The Seahawks have a better record within the conference (.556) than the Falcons (.500) #8 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (.445) #9 – New York Giants (.445) #10 – Chicago Bears (.445) The Bucs have a better record within the conference (.571) than the Giants (.444) and the Bears (.286). The Giants have a better record within the conference than the Bears. #11 – St. Louis Rams (.364) #12 – Philadelphia Eagles (.364) #13 – New Orleans Saints (.364) The Rams have a better record within the conference (.429) than the Saints (.375) or the Eagles (.333). The Eagles own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Saints #14 – Detroit Lions (.333) #15 – San Francisco 49ers (.273) #16 – Dallas Cowboys (.273) The 49ers have a better strength of victory (.524) than the Cowboys (.455)


Gur Samuel

Hi! I'm Gur and I'm RealSport's Editor-in-Chief. I'm also currently the site's tennis editor, and contribute to our NFL, wrestling and Formula 1 coverage as well. I'm also an NFL analyst for CNN International and contributor to SB Nation, and have contributed to, or been interviewed by, various print, broadcast and online media, including the BBC, Mail Online, ABC, NBC, CBS, the Boston Globe, and Yahoo! Sports.

NFL Playoff Picture: Week 13 Clinching & Elimination scenarios and post TNF update

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