With just two weeks left in the 2022 NFL regular season, the playoff picture is shaping up. More teams have claimed their spots in the NFC and AFC. However, the race to the playoffs continues as top teams in both conferences are still looking to lock in their spots for the postseason and have a chance to do so in Week 17.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers clinched the NFC South title with a .500 record after defeating the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. The New York Giants also punched their postseason ticket, as their rout of the Indianapolis Colts clinched New York’s first playoff berth since 2016. The Philadelphia Eagles fell short of clinching the NFC East and home-field advantage, losing to the visiting New Orleans Saints.
The Seattle Seahawks moved into the final wild-card spot with a victory over the New York Jets combined with the Washington Commanders‘ loss to the Cleveland Browns. The Commanders, who started the day seventh in the NFC, were eliminated with the Green Bay Packers‘ win. The Packers now control their playoff destiny.
In the AFC, the Buffalo Bills look to take another step toward home-field advantage and a first-round bye Monday night with a win against the Cincinnati Bengals, who can claim the AFC North Division title with a win or tie against the Bills. The Miami Dolphins fell out of the playoff field with a loss to the New England Patriots, who now have the final AFC wild-card spot. The Los Angeles Chargers moved into the top wild card position thanks to their win over the Rams, coupled with the Baltimore Ravens‘ loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night. Pittsburgh will remain in the postseason hunt entering Week 18.
Here are the playoff-clinching scenarios for Week 17 as teams try to reach Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The playoffs begin Jan. 14, with 14 teams making the field, seven from each conference.
NFL playoff matchups as it stands now
Teams that have clinched postseason berths: Bills (East), Chiefs (West), Bengals, Ravens, Chargers
Teams that have clinched postseason berths: Eagles, Cowboys, Giants, 49ers (West), Vikings (North), Buccaneers (South)
Week 17 AFC playoff-clinching scenarios
Cincinnati clinches the AFC North title with:
CIN win or tie
Result: The Dolphins lost 23-21 to the Patriots and now trail the Patriots for the third and final wild-card berth out of the AFC.
Week 17 NFC playoff-clinching scenarios
Result: The Giants clinched a wild-card spot with a 38-10 win over the Colts, marking their first playoff berth since 2016.
Result: The Eagles lost 20-10 to the Saints, preventing them from clinching the NFC East and grabbing the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
Result: The Bucs defeated the Panthers 30-24 to clinch the NFC South title and eliminate Carolina from playoff consideration.
Week 18 NFC playoff-clinching scenarios
The Packers will clinch a playoff spot with a victory over the Lions.
The Seahawks will clinch a playoff spot with a victory over the Rams and a Packers loss to the Lions.
The Lions will clinch a playoff spot with a victory over the Packers and a Seahawks loss to the Rams.