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NFL Week 14: Every elimination & clinching scenario

Week 14 of the NFL season kicks off tonight, but it's an unusual Week 14 compared to previous years. Only one team enters this week's game h


Week 14 of the NFL season kicks off tonight, but it’s an unusual Week 14 compared to previous years. Only one team enters this week’s game having been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, making this the most competitive season since the expansion to 32 teams. So, the Browns have nothing to play for except draft position, but every other NFL team has meaningful games this weekend – and some more meaningful than others. Eleven teams enter Week 14 fighting for their playoff lives, as six AFC teams and five NFC teams could end this weekend mathematically eliminated from every shot at the postseason. There are a few teams who could be eliminated from their division races this weekend, and two teams who might still be in the hunt for their division titles come Tuesday morning, but will be eliminated from wild card contention. And yes, both those teams reside in the NFC East. On the other end of the scale, there’s several teams who could clinch their postseason places this weekend. Only one team so far is definitely going to be in the playoffs – the Carolina Panthers, who won the NFC South last weekend when the Falcons lost to the Bucs – but there are a few sides, including the Panthers, who can secure playoff places, division crowns, and even a first-round bye. Without further ado, here are the elimination and clinching scenarios for Week 14.  

WILD CARD ELIMINATION

AFC

Already eliminated:

  • Cleveland Browns
  • Tennessee Titans

San Diego Chargers

The Chargers have a tough task to make the playoffs, with a very specific scenario with a huge number of moving parts. They would not only need to win all their remaining games, but two other teams to lose all their remaining games, one other team to lose all but their final game of the season, and another team to win exactly three of their final four games, all in order to set up a four-way tie between the Chargers, Bills, Steelers and Jaguars. The Chargers could then win on a strength-of-victory tiebreaker, depending on how the rest of the season plays out. For that reason, they will be eliminated if any of the following happen:

  • Chargers tie or loss, OR
  • Steelers tie or win, OR
  • Jets tie or win, OR
  • Bills tie or win, OR
  • Jaguars loss, OR
  • Texans win + Colts win

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens would be eliminated with either:

  • Ravens loss + Steelers win, OR
  • Chiefs win + Jets win

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars would be eliminated with either:

  • Jaguars loss
  • Chiefs win + Jets win

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins would be eliminated with:

  • Dolphis loss + Chiefs win + Jets win

Oakland Raiders

The Raiders would be eliminated with:

  • Raiders loss + Jets loss or tie + Chiefs win + Steelers win

 

NFC

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers would be eliminated with:

  • 49ers loss, OR
  • 49ers tie + Seahawks win or tie, OR
  • Seahawks win + Vikings tie or win

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys would be eliminated with:

  • Cowboys loss, OR
  • Cowboys tie + Seahawks win or tie, OR
  • Seahawks win + Vikings tie or win

New Orleans Saints

The Saints would be eliminated with:

  • Saints loss, OR
  • Saints tie + Seahawks win or tie, OR
  • Seahawks win + Vikings tie or win

St Louis Rams

The Rams would be eliminated with:

  • Rams loss + Seahawks tie or win, OR
  • Rams tie + Seahawks win

Detroit Lions

The Lions would be eliminated with:

  • Lions loss, OR
  • Lions tie + Seahawks win or tie, OR
  • Seahawks win

Chicago Bears

The Bears would be eliminated with:

  • Bears loss + Seahawks win + Vikings win or tie

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles would be eliminated with:

  • Eagles loss + Seahawks win + Vikings win or tie

 

DIVISION ELIMINATION

AFC

Already eliminated:

  • San Diego Chargers
  • Baltimore Ravens
  • Miami Dolphins
  • Oakland Raiders
  • Buffalo Bills

Tennessee Titans

Winning the AFC South is the only way the Titans could make the playoffs. They would be eliminated with:

  • Titans loss or tie, OR
  • Colts win, OR
  • Texans win

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars would be eliminated with:

  • Jaguars loss (to the Colts)

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers would be eliminated with:

  • Steelers loss or tie (to the Bengals)

New York Jets

The Jets would be eliminated with:

  • Jets loss + Patriots win or tie, OR
  • Jets tie + Patriots win

Kansas City Cheifs

The Chiefs would be eliminated with:

  • Chiefs loss + Broncos win or tie, OR
  • Chiefs tie + Broncos win

 

NFC

Already eliminated:

  • San Francisco 49ers
  • New Orleans Saints
  • St Louis Rams
  • Detroit Lions
  • Atlanta Falcons
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Chicago Bears

The Bears would be eliminated with:

  • Bears loss or tie, OR
  • Vikings tie or win, OR
  • Packers tie or win

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks would be eliminated with:

  • Seahawks loss + Cardinals win or tie, OR
  • Seahawks tie + Cardinals win

 

CLINCHING SCENARIOS

AFC

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals would clinch the AFC North with:

  • Bengals win or tie

The Bengals would clinch a playoff spot with:

  • Jets loss, OR
  • Chiefs loss

New England Patriots

The Patriots would clinch the AFC East with:

  • Patriots win + two of the following: Bills win, Steelers win, Dolphins loss, Browns loss, OR
  • Patriots win + Jets loss or tie, OR
  • Patriots tie + Jets tie + two of the following: Bills win, Steelers win, Dolphins loss, Browns loss, OR
  • Jets loss + two of the following: Bills win, Steelers win, Dolphins loss, Browns loss

The Patriots would clinch a playoff spot with:

  • Patriots win, OR
  • Steelers loss, OR
  • Jets loss, OR
  • Patriots tie + Chiefs loss, OR
  • Steelers tie + Steelers loss, OR
  • Patriots tie + Jets tie

Denver Broncos

The Broncos would clinch the AFC West with:

  • Broncos win + Chiefs loss or tie, OR
  • Broncos tie + Chiefs loss

The Broncos would clinch a playoff spot with:

  • Broncos win + Jets loss or tie, OR
  • Broncos win + Steelers loss or tie, OR
  • Broncos tie + Jets loss, OR
  • Broncos tie + Steelers loss

 

NFC

Already clinched:

  • Carolina Panthers, NFC South

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers would clinch a first-round bye with:

  • Panthers win or tie, OR
  • Vikings loss or tie + Packers loss or tie

Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals would clinch the NFC West with:

  • Cardinals win + Seahawks loss or tie, OR
  • Cardinals tie + Seahawks loss

The Cardinals would clinch a playoff spot with:

  • Cardinals win or tie, OR
  • Bucs loss or tie + Falcons loss or tie, OR
  • Bucs loss or tie + Packers win or tie

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 Week 14: Every elimination & clinching scenario

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