The 2017 NFL postseason picture is starting to come into a focus a little bit. Last week, after both secured wins, the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers both clinched their respective division crowns. This week there are four more teams (two in each conference) that can clinch a postseason berth. Both the New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings can clinch division crowns this week, while both the Los Angeles Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars can clinch playoff berths.
That means that after Week 15, with only two weeks remaining in the regular season, at most only 50 percent of the playoff spots will have been secured. Here are the division standings and playoff standings entering Week 15. Below are all of the playoff clinching scenarios for this week (Week 15 only).
Week 15 NFL Playoff Clinching Scenarios
Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. New England Patriots)
- Already clinched division
- Steelers win AND Jaguars loss/tie = home field advantage throughout playoffs
- Steelers win = first-round bye
- Steelers tie AND Jaguars loss = first-round bye
New England Patriots (at Steelers)
- Patriots win/tie = AFC East champions
- Buffalo Bills loss/tie = AFC East champions
- Baltimore Ravens loss/tie = playoff berth
Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. Houston Texans)
- Jaguars win = playoff berth
- Jaguars tie AND Bills loss/tie = playoff berth
- Jaguars tie AND Ravens loss/tie = playoff berth
- Bills loss AND Ravens loss = playoff berth
- Ravens loss AND Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Chargers does not end in tie = playoff berth
Philadelphia Eagles (at New York Giants)
- Already clinched division
- Eagles win AND Minnesota Vikings loss = home field advantage throughout playoffs
- Eagles win = first-round bye
- Eagles tie AND Rams loss/tie AND New Orleans Saints loss/tie AND Carolina Panthers loss/tie = first-round bye
Los Angeles Rams (at Seattle Seahawks)
- Rams win AND Lions loss/tie AND Packers loss/tie AND Saints loss AND Falcons loss = playoff berth
Minnesota Vikings (vs. Cincinnati Bengals)
- Vikings win or tie = NFC North champs
- Detroit Lions loss/tie AND Green Bay Packers loss/tie = NFC North champions
- Seattle Seahawks loss AND Atlanta Falcons loss AND Saints loss = playoff berth
- Seahawks loss AND Falcons loss AND Panthers loss = playoff berth
- Seahawks loss AND Falcons loss AND Detroit Lions loss/tie = playoff berth
- Seahawks loss AND Falcons loss/tie AND Saints loss AND Lions loss/tie = playoff berth
- Seahawks loss AND Falcons tie AND Saints loss AND Panthers loss = playoff berth
The Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants have all already been eliminated from postseason contention.
The Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, and Oakland Raiders are all still alive to make the playoffs in the AFC, at least as a wild card.
The Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals are all still alive in the NFC.