clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NFL playoff picture: How Chiefs and every other team can clinch playoff spot in Week 17

New, comments

Update: The Kansas City Chiefs did not make the playoffs this year but here are the scenarios for everyone else. Full NFL scores are here.

As a refresher, here's what the Kansas City Chiefs need to happen to make the playoffs:

1. Chiefs beat Chargers (KC won 19-7)
2. Browns beat Ravens (Baltimore won 20-10)
3. Jaguars beat Texans (Houston won 23-17)

Backup QB Chase Daniel is starting for the Chiefs, undrafted QB Connor Shaw is starting for the Browns and first round QB Blake Bortles is starting for the Jaguars. The Browns and Jaguars are both massive underdogs. Cleveland is a 14-point dog against Baltimore while Jacksonville is a 10-point dog. The Chiefs, meanwhile, are down to 1-point favorites in this game after they were 3-point favorites pre-Alex Smith spleen injury.

So, yeah, things aren't really going the Chiefs way right now. But I seem to remember a Week 17 in 2006 that seemed as unlikely as this one to work out in the Chiefs favor but it did. In that Week the Chiefs needed a Chiefs win and a Cincinnati, Denver and Tennessee loss. All those things happened in Week 17 and the Chiefs made it in the playoffs.

Crazier things have happened than the Chiefs making the playoffs off of this one. I'm not counting on it or expecting it but the possibility is there.

Here's a look at the complete playoff picture and how every other team can clinch this week.

AFC teams that have clinched

New England (AFC East, first round bye and home field advantage)
Denver (AFC West)
Indianapolis (AFC South)
Pittsburgh (playoff berth)
Cincinnati (playoff berth)
Baltimore (clinched with win on Sunday)

NFC teams that have clinched

Arizona Cardinals (playoff berth)
Seattle Seahawks (playoff berth)
Detroit Lions (playoff berth) 
Green Bay Packers (playoff berth) 
Dallas Cowboys (NFC East)

Clinch scenarios:

DENVER BRONCOS (vs. Oakland)

Denver clinches a first-round bye with:

1) DEN win OR

2) DEN tie + CIN loss or tie OR

3) CIN loss OR

4) CIN tie + IND win

CINCINNATI BENGALS (at Pittsburgh)

Cincinnati clinches AFC North with:

1) CIN win or tie

Cincinnati clinches a first-round bye with:

1) CIN win + DEN loss or tie OR

2) CIN tie + DEN loss + IND loss or tie

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (vs. Cincinnati)

Pittsburgh clinches AFC North with:

1) PIT win

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (at Kansas City)

San Diego clinches a playoff spot with:

1) SD win OR

2) SD tie + BAL loss or tie

BALTIMORE RAVENS (vs. Cleveland)

Baltimore clinches a playoff spot with:

1) BAL win + SD loss or tie OR2) BAL tie + SD loss

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (vs. San Diego)

Kansas City clinches a playoff spot with:

1) KC win + BAL loss + HOU loss or tie

HOUSTON TEXANS (vs. Jacksonville)

Houston clinches a playoff spot with:1) HOU win + BAL loss + SD loss

DALLAS COWBOYS (at Washington)

Dallas clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

1) DAL win + ARI loss or tie + DET/GB tie

Dallas clinches a first-round bye with:

1) DAL win + SEA loss or tie + ARI loss or tie OR

2) DAL win + DET/GB tie OR

3) DAL tie + SEA loss + ARI loss OR

4) DAL tie + SEA tie + ARI loss or tie + DET/GB does not end in a tie

DETROIT LIONS (at Green Bay)

Detroit clinches NFC North with:

1) DET win or tie

Detroit clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

1) DET win + SEA loss or tie + ARI loss or tie OR

2) DET tie + SEA loss + ARI loss + DAL loss or tie

Detroit clinches a first-round bye with:

1) DET win OR

2) DET tie + DAL loss or tie OR

3) DET tie + SEA loss + ARI loss

GREEN BAY PACKERS (vs. Detroit)

Green Bay clinches NFC North and a first-round bye with:

1) GB win

Green Bay clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

1) GB win + SEA loss or tie

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (vs. St. Louis)

Seattle clinches NFC West with:

1) SEA win OR

2) SEA tie + ARI loss or tie OR

3) ARI loss

Seattle clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

1) SEA win + DET/GB game does not end in a tie OR

2) SEA win + DAL loss or tie OR

3) SEA tie + ARI loss or tie + DAL loss or tie + GB/DET tie

Seattle clinches a first-round bye with:

1) SEA win OR

2) SEA tie + ARI loss or tie + DAL loss OR

3) SEA tie + ARI loss or tie + GB/DET tie

ARIZONA CARDINALS (at San Francisco)

Arizona clinches NFC West with:

1) ARI win + SEA loss or tie OR

2) ARI tie + SEA loss

Arizona clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

1) ARI win + SEA loss or tie + GB loss or tie OR

2) ARI tie + SEA loss + DAL loss or tie + GB/DET tie

Arizona clinches a first-round bye with:

1) ARI win + SEA loss or tie OR

2) ARI tie + SEA loss + DAL loss or tie OR

3) ARI tie + SEA loss + GB/DET tie

CAROLINA PANTHERS (at Atlanta)

Carolina clinches NFC South with:

1) CAR win or tie

ATLANTA FALCONS (vs. Carolina)

Atlanta clinches NFC South with:

1) ATL win