2023 NFL playoffs: Week 18 clinching scenarios for AFC and NFC contenders

USATSI

Week 17 of the 2022 NFL season is almost in the books, with just the Bills going to the Bengals in a Monday night face-off yet to begin. So which groups are formally still defending playoff areas as we approach Week 18? And how do each of them really clinch a journey to the postseason? We’re so pleased you asked. Below you’ll discover an upgraded rundown of all the most recent clinching situations for the staying open playoff areas:

AFC situations

No. 1 seed (bye + home-field benefit)

Chiefs clinch with any of the following:

  • Win + 1 Bills loss
  • 2 Bills losses + Bengals loss

Bills clinch with any of the following:

  • 2 wins
  • Win at Bengals + Chiefs loss
  • Win vs. Patriots + Chiefs and Bengals lose in Week 18

Bengals clinch with any of the following:

AFC South title

  • Jaguars (8-8) clinch with: win/tie vs. Titans
  • Titans (7-9) clinch with: win at Jaguars

AFC North title

  • Bengals (11-4) clinch with: win/tie vs. Bills OR win vs. Ravens

No. 7 seed wild card

  • Patriots (8-8) clinch with: win at Bills OR Dolphins loss vs. Jets AND Steelers loss vs. Browns AND Jaguars win vs. Titans
  • Dolphins (8-8) clinch with: win vs. Jets AND Patriots loss at Bills
  • Steelers (8-8) clinch with: win vs. Browns AND Dolphins loss vs. Jets AND Patriots loss at Bills
  • Jaguars (8-8) clinch with: loss vs. Titans AND losses by Dolphins, Patriots and Steelers 

NFC situations

No. 1 seed (bye + home-field benefit)

Eagles clinch with any of the following:

  • Win/tie vs. Giants
  • Cowboys loss/tie at Commanders
  • 49ers loss/tie vs. Cardinals

49ers clinch with any of the following:

  • Win vs. Cardinals + Eagles loss vs. Giants

Cowboys clinch with any of the following:

  • Win at Commanders + Eagles loss vs. Giants + 49ers loss/tie vs. Cardinals

NFC East title

  • Eagles (13-3) clinch with: win vs. Giants OR Cowboys loss at Commanders
  • Cowboys (12-4) clinch with: win at Commanders AND Eagles loss vs. Giants

No. 7 seed wild card

  • Packers (8-8) clinch with: win vs. Lions
  • Lions (8-8) clinch with: win at Packers AND Seahawks loss/tie vs. Rams, OR tie vs. Packers AND Seahawks loss vs. Rams, OR tie vs. Packers AND Rams-Seahawks tie AND Commanders win vs. Cowboys
  • Seahawks (8-8) clinch with: win vs. Rams AND Packers loss/tie vs. Lions, OR tie vs. Rams AND Lions-Packers tie AND Commanders loss/tie vs. Cowboys

For a total take a look at playoff standings, situations and predicted first-round matches throughout the whole NFL, take a look at our upgraded postseason projection right here.



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