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NFL Week 15 Elimination and clinching scenarios + playoff picture

Week 15 started off with the final "Color Rush" game of the season, but more importantly, it had huge implications for elimination and clinc


Week 15 started off with the final “Color Rush” game of the season, but more importantly, it had huge implications for elimination and clinching scenarios for Week 15, as the previously ‘seventh seed’ Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the St. Louis Rams. With four days of NFL this week, continuing with the ‘Saturday edition’ of Thursday Night Football tonight between the Jets and Cowboys, we’ve got every elimination and clinching scenario for Week 15, along with the current playoff picture. If you can’t wait for the NFL tonight, then don’t miss our coverage of the first day of NCAA Bowl Season!  

Wild card elimination scenarios

AFC

Already eliminated

  • Tennessee Titans
  • Cleveland Browns
  • San Diego Chargers
  • Baltimore Ravens
  • Miami Dolphins
  • Jacksonville Jaguars

Houston Texans

The Texans will be eliminated from a wild card spot with any of the following:

  • Texans loss + Jets tie or win; OR
  • Texans loss + Steelers tie or win; OR
  • Texans tie + Chiefs tie or win + Jets win; OR
  • Texans tie + Chiefs tie or win + Steelers win; OR
  • Texans tie + Jets win + Steelers win

Buffalo Bills

The Bills will be eliminated from the playoffs with any of the following:

  • Bills loss + Jets tie or win; OR
  • Bills loss + Steelers tie or win; OR
  • Bills tie + Chiefs tie or win + Jets win; OR
  • Bills tie + Chiefs tie or win + Steelers win; OR
  • Bills tie + Jets win + Steelers win

Oakland Raiders

The Raiders will be eliminated from the playoffs with any of the following:

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

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts will be eliminated from a wild card spot with any of the following:

  • Colts loss; OR
  • Colts tie + Chiefs tie or win + Jets win; OR
  • Colts tie + Chiefs tie or win + Steelers win

Cannot be eliminated this week

  • Pittsburgh Steelers
  • New York Jets
  • Kansas City Chiefs
  • Denver Broncos
  • Cincinnati Bengals

Already clinched a division

  • New England Patriots

NFC

Already eliminated

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • San Francisco 49ers
  • Detroit Lions

Chicago Bears

The Bears will be eliminated from the playoffs with a tie or loss

New Orleans Saints

The Saints will be eliminated from the playoffs with any of the following:

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

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs will be eliminated from the playoffs with a Seahawks tie or win AND a Vikings tie or win

St. Louis Rams

The Rams will be eliminated from the playoffs with a Seahawks tie or win

New York Giants

The Giants will be eliminated from a wild card spot with any of the following:

  • Giants loss + Vikings tie or win; OR
  • Giants tie + Vikings win + Seahawks tie or win

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles will be eliminated from a wild card spot with any of the following:

  • Eagles loss + Vikings tie or win; OR
  • Eagles loss + Vikings win + Seahawks tie or win

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons will be eliminated from the playoffs with any of the following:

  • Falcons loss
  • Falcons tie + Seahawks tie or win + Vikings tie or win
  • Seahawks win + Vikings win

Washington Redskins

Washington will be eliminated from a wild card spot with any of the following:

  • Washington loss + Vikings tie or win + Seahawks tie or win; OR
  • Washington tie + Vikings win + Seahawks win

Cannot be eliminated this week

  • Minnesota Vikings
  • Seattle Seahawks
  • Green Bay Packers

Already clinched a playoff spot

  • Arizona Cardinals

Already clinched a division

  • Carolina Panthers

 

Division elimination scenarios

AFC

Already eliminated

  • Tennessee Titans
  • Cleveland Browns
  • San Diego Chargers
  • Baltimore Ravens
  • Miami Dolphins
  • Buffalo Bills
  • Oakland Raiders
  • New York Jets

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars will be eliminated from the playoffs with a loss AND a Colts win

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers will be eliminated from the AFC North championship race with any of the following:

  • Steelers loss; OR
  • Steelers tie + Bengals tie or win

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs will be eliminated from the AFC West championship race with any of the following:

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

Cannot be eliminated this week

  • Houston Texans
  • Indianapolis Colts
  • Denver Broncos
  • Cincinnati Bengals

Already won a division

  • New England Patriots

NFC

Already eliminated

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

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys will be eliminated from the playoffs with any of the following:

  • Cowboys loss + Washington tie or win; OR
  • Cowboys loss + Eagles tie or win; OR
  • Cowboys loss + Giants tie or win; OR
  • Cowboys tie + Washington win; OR
  • Cowboys tie + Eagles win; OR
  • Cowboys tie + Giants win

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks will be eliminated from the NFC West championship race with any of the following:

  • Seahawks loss or tie; OR
  • Cardinals loss or tie; OR
  • Bengals loss or tie + Saints loss or tie + Cowboys win or tie + Steelers win or tie

Cannot be eliminated this week

  • New York Giants
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Minnesota Vikings
  • Washington Redskins
  • Green Bay Packers
  • Arizona Cardinald

Already clinched the division

  • Carolina Panthers

Clinching scenarios

AFC

New England Patriots

The Patriots will clinch a first round bye with any of the following:

  • Patriots win + Broncos loss; OR
  • Patriots win + Bengals loss + Broncos tie

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals will clinch the AFC North with any of the following:

  • Bengals win or tie + Steelers tie; OR
  • Steelers loss

The Bengals with clinch a playoff spot with any of the following:

  • Bengals win; OR
  • Jets loss; OR
  • Chiefs loss; OR
  • Bengals tie + Chiefs tie; OR
  • Bengals tie + Jets tie

Denver Broncos

The Broncos will clinch the AFC West with any of the following:

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

The Broncos will clinch a playoff spot with any of the following:

  • Broncos win; OR
  • Broncos tie + Jets loss

NFC

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers will clinch the NFC #1 seed with any of the following:

  • Panthers win + Cardinals loss or tie; OR
  • Panthers tie + Cardinals loss

Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals will clinch the NFC West and a first round bye with any of the following:

  • Cardinals win + Packers tie or loss; OR
  • Cardinals tie + Packers loss

The Cardinals will clinch the NFC west with any of the following:

  • Cardinals win or tie; OR
  • Seahawks tie or loss; OR
  • Bengals win + Saints win + Cowboys loss + Steelers loss

Green Bay Packers

The Packers will clinch a playoff spot with any of the following:

  • Packers win or tie; OR
  • Washington tie or loss; OR
  • Giants tie or loss

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks will clinch a playoff spot with any of the following:

  • Seahawks win + Giants tie or loss; OR
  • Seahawks win + Washington tie or loss; OR
  • Seahawks win + Falcons tie or loss + Vikings loss + Packers win or tie; OR
  • Seahawks tie + Falcons loss or tie + Giants loss; OR
  • Seahawks tie + Falcons loss or tie + Washington loss + Eagles loss or tie

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings will clinch a playoff spot with any of the following:

  • Vikings win + Washington loss or tie + Falcons loss or tie; OR
  • Vikings win + Washington loss or tie + Seahawks loss or tie; OR
  • Vikings win + Giants loss or tie + Falcons loss or tie; OR
  • Vikings win + Giants loss or tie + Seahawks loss or tie; OR
  • Vikings tie + Falcons loss or tie + Eagles loss or tie + Washington loss; OR
  • Vikings tie + Falcons loss or tie + Eagles loss or tie + Giants loss; OR
  • Vikings tie + Falcons loss or tie + Washington loss or tie + Giants loss; OR
  • Vikings tie + Falcons loss or tie + Giants loss or tie + Washington loss

 

Playoff picture

AFC

In the picture

#1 – New England Patriots (.846) Clinched AFC East #2 – Cincinnati Bengals (.769) #3 – Denver Broncos (.769) #4 – Indianapolis Colts (.462) The Colts own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Texans, who they are tied with #5 – Kansas City Chiefs (.615) #6 – New York Jets (.615)

In the hunt

#7 – Pittsburgh Steelers (.615) The Chiefs have a better record within the conference (.778) than the Jets (.600) and the Steelers (.556). The Jets have a better record within the conference than the Steelers #8 – Oakland Raiders (.462) #9 – Buffalo Bills (.462) #10 – Houston Texans (.462) The Raiders have a better record within the conference (.600) than the Bills (.545) and the Texans (.444). The Bills own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Texans #11 – Jacksonville Jaguars (.385) The Jaguars can only make the playoffs as division winners

Already eliminated

  • Miami Dolphins
  • Baltimore Ravens
  • San Diego Chargers
  • Cleveland Browns
  • Tennessee Titans

NFC

In the picture

#1 – Carolina Panthers (1.000) NFC South champions #2 – Arizona Cardinals (.846) clinched playoff spot #3 – Green Bay Packers (.692) #4 – Washington Redskins (.462) Washington, who are tied with the Eagles and Giants, have a better record in games played between the three teams (.667) than the Eagles (.500) and the Giants (.333) #5 – Seattle Seahawks (.615) #6 – Minnesota Vikings (.615) The Seahawks own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Vikings

In the hunt

#7 – Atlanta Falcons (.462) #8 – Philadelphia Eagles (.462) #9 – New York Giants (.462) As we have a tie between two teams from the same division, we must eliminate one first. The Eagles own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Giants. The Falcons own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Eagles. #10 – St. Louis Rams (.429) #11 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (.429) The Rams own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Bucs #12 – New Orleans Saints (.385) #13 – Chicago Bears (.385) The Saints have a better record within the conference (.400) than the Bears (.222) #14 – Dallas Cowboys (.308) The Cowboys can only make the playoffs as division winners

Already eliminated

  • Detroit Lions
  • San Francisco 49ers

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 15 Elimination and clinching scenarios + playoff picture

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