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Week 16 of the 2020 NFL season will feature 12 teams with various paths to clinching playoff berths, division titles or first-round byes in the postseason.

The list of possible clinches is headlined by the Browns, which haven’t played in the playoffs since 2002. Three different possibilities for a Browns win at the Jets and one loss elsewhere to push Cleveland over the line and into the postseason. There’s also a lot on the line this week in the AFC South, NFC South and NFC West. First-round byes are also within reach for the Chiefs and Packers in Week 16. 

Below are all the NFL playoff clinching scenarios for the teams that have chances to stamp their postseason status in Week 16, followed by a complete playoff picture.

MORE: Explaining the NFL’s expanded playoffs

NFL playoff clinching scenarios for Week 16

Cleveland Browns (10-4)

(at Jets)

Cleveland clinches playoff berth with:

  1. Browns win AND Ravens loss or tie OR
  2. Browns win AND Dolphins loss or tie OR
  3. Browns win AND Colts loss OR
  4. Browns tie AND Ravens loss OR
  5. Browns tie AND Dolphins loss

Indianapolis Colts (10-4)

(at Steelers)

Indianapolis clinches playoff berth with:

  1. Colts win AND Ravens loss or tie OR
  2. Colts win AND Dolphins loss or tie OR
  3. Colts tie AND Ravens loss OR
  4. Colts tie AND Dolphins loss

Kansas City Chiefs (13-1)

(vs. Falcons) 

Kansas City clinches the first-round bye with:

  1. Chiefs win or tie OR
  2. Steelers loss or tie OR
  3. Bills loss or tie OR
  4. Chiefs clinch strength of victory tiebreaker over Steelers or Bills AND clinch at least a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over the other club

Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3)

(vs. Colts)

Pittsburgh clinches AFC North division title with:

  1. Steelers win OR
  2. Browns loss OR
  3. Steelers tie AND Browns tie

Tennessee Titans (10-4)

(at Packers)

Tennessee clinches AFC South division title with:

  1. Titans win AND Colts loss

Tennessee clinches playoff berth with:

  1. Titans win OR
  2. Dolphins loss OR
  3. Ravens loss OR
  4. Titans tie AND Ravens tie

Arizona Cardinals (8-6)

(vs. 49ers)

Arizona clinches playoff berth with:

  1. Cardinals win AND Bears loss or tie OR
  2. Cardinals tie AND Bears loss

Green Bay Packers (11-3)

(vs. Titans)

Green Bay clinches first-round bye with:

  1. Packers win AND Seahawks loss or tie OR
  2. Packers tie AND Saints loss or tie AND Seahawks loss or tie, as long as both Saints and Seahawks don’t tie

Los Angeles Rams (9-5)

(at Seahawks)

Los Angeles clinches playoff berth with:

  1. Rams win or tie OR
  2. Bears loss or tie OR
  3. Cardinals win or tie

New Orleans Saints (10-4)

(vs. Vikings)

New Orleans clinches NFC South division title with:

  1. Saints win OR
  2. Buccaneers loss OR
  3. Saints tie AND Buccaneers tie

Seattle Seahawks (10-4)

(vs. Rams)

Seattle clinches NFC West division title with:

  1. Seahawks win

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-5)

(at Lions)

Tampa Bay clinches playoff berth with:

  1. Buccaneers win or tie OR
  2. Bears loss or tie

Washington Football Team (6-8)

(vs. Panthers)

Washington clinches NFC East division title with:

  1. Washington win AND Giants loss or tie OR
  2. Washington tie AND Giants loss AND Cowboys-Eagles tie

NFL playoff picture 2021

Seed Team Record Clinched
1. Kansas City Chiefs 12-1 AFC West
2. Buffalo Bills 11-3 AFC East
3. Pittsburgh Steelers 11-3 Playoff berth
4. Tennessee Titans 10-4 N/a
5. Cleveland Browns 10-4 N/a
6. Indianapolis Colts 10-4 N/a
7. Miami Dolphins 9-5 N/a

In the hunt: Ravens (9-5), Raiders (7-7)

Seed Team Record Clinched
1. Green Bay Packers 11-3 NFC North
2. New Orleans Saints 10-4 Playoff berth
3. Seattle Seahawks 10-4 Playoff berth
4. Washington Football Team 6-8 N/a
5. Los Angeles Rams 9-5 N/a
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9-5 N/a
7. Arizona Cardinals 8-6 N/a

In the hunt: Bears (7-7), Vikings (6-8), Giants (5-9), Cowboys (5-9), Eagles (4-9-1)

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December 22, 2020
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