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These NFL Teams Could Clinch A Playoff Spot In Week 16

It's Week 16 of the 2023 NFL season, and playoff-clinching scenarios are aplenty. Four teams have already secured their postseason positions, including Dallas, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Baltimore.


Meanwhile, 21 other teams are still in the mix. Four of those clubs could punch their postseason ticket this weekend. Here's what needs to happen for each of those teams to continue their season past January 7th. 


Before we get into the article, make sure to check out NFL Shop! NFLShop.com has all of the best NFL fan gear just in time for the holidays!


AFC Clinching Scenarios

The Baltimore Ravens are the only team in the AFC that has clinched a playoff berth and could win the AFC North with a win against the 49ers and a Browns loss or tie (AT Houston). Baltimore would also win the division with a tie against San Francisco and a Browns loss.


It's a little more complicated for the Cleveland Browns. Eight different scenarios could land the Browns in the playoffs for the first time since 2020, all of which require a victory this Sunday. Those scenarios include:

  • Browns win (AT Texans), a Bengals loss (AT Steelers), a Broncos loss or tie (VS Patriots), a Bills loss (AT Chargers), a Dolphins win or tie (VS Cowboys), and a Colts loss or tie (AT Falcons)

  • Browns win (AT Texans), Steelers lose or tie (VS Bengals), Bills lose (AT Chargers), Dolphins win or tie (VS Cowboys), and a Broncos loss or tie (VS Patriots)

  • Browns win (AT Texans), Steelers lose or tie (VS Bengals), Bills loss (AT Chargers), Dolphins win or tie (VS Cowboys), Jaguars loss (AT Buccaneers), and Colts win (AT Falcons)

  • Browns win (AT Texans), Steelers loss or tie (VS Bengals), Broncos loss or tie (VS Patriots), Jaguars loss (AT Buccaneers), and Colts win (AT Falcons)

  • Browns win (AT Texans), Steelers loss or tie (VS Bengals), Bills loss (AT Chargers), Chiefs win (VS Raiders), Colts win (AT Falcons), and Jaguars loss (AT Buccaneers)

  • Browns win (AT Texans), Steelrs loss or tie (VS Bengals), Broncos loss or tie (VS Patriots), Dolphins win or tie (VS Cowboys), and Colts loss (AT Falcons)

  • Browns win (AT Texans), Steelers loss (VS Bengals), Broncos loss or tie (VS Patriots), Dolphins win or tie (VS Cowboys), and Jaguars loss (AT Buccaneers)

  • Browns win (AT Texans), Bengals and Steelers tie, Bills loss (AT Chargers), Colts win (AT Falcons) and Jaguars loss (AT Buccaneers)


It's fairly simple for Kansas City. The defending Super Bowl champs would clinch a playoff spot and win the AFC West with the following:

  • Chiefs win (VS Raiders)

  • Chiefs tie (VS Raiders), and Broncos (VS Patriots)


The Miami Dolphins have an opportunity to not only secure a playoff position but also grab their first AFC East division title since 2008.


One of the following would lead to a Dolphins division title:

  • Dolphins win (VS Cowboys), and Bills loss or tie (AT Chargers)

  • Dolphins tie (VS Cowboys), and Bills loss (AT Chargers)


Miami could clinch a playoff berth, without winning the division if one of these scenarios were to occur:

  • Dolphins win (VS Cowboys)

  • Dolphins tie (VS Cowboys) and Jaguars loss (AT Buccaneers)

  • Dolphins tie (VS Cowboys), Colts loss (AT Falcons), and Texans loss (VS Browns)

  • Dolphins tie (VS Cowboys), Colts loss or tie (AT Falcons), and Browns loss (AT Texans)

  • Dolphins tie (VS Cowboys), Texans loss or tie (VS Browns), and Bengals loss or tie (AT Steelers)

  • Dolphins tie (VS Cowboys), Bengals loss or tie (AT Steelers) and Colts loss or tie (AT Falcons)

NFC Clinching Scenarios

As mentioned above, San Francisco, Dallas and Philadelphia have all secured their place in the upcoming postseason. The 49ers could win the NFC, and therefore earn a first-round BYE with a win over the Ravens, plus an Eagles loss (VS Giants), a Cowboys loss (AT Miami), and a Lions loss (AT Vikings).


Detroit is the only other NFC team with clinching possibilities in Week 16. With a win or tie against the Vikings, the Lions would win their first division title since 1993.


The Lions would also punch their postseason ticket if one of the following scenarios happened:

  • Rams loss or tie (VS Saints)

  • Seahawks loss or tie (AT Titans)

An Exciting End To The NFL Season

There are so many teams in the mix making for an interesting final three weeks of the regular season. It'll be lots of fun for some and heartbreaking for others. All-in-all we're in for three weeks of fun, meaningful football.



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