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Week 15 NFL Gameday: Win and In

[lead align=”default”]Several teams face playoff “win and in” scenarios this Week 15 NFL gameday.[/lead]

Three AFC teams can qualify for the playoffs just by virtue of winning their games on Sunday. In fact, two of those teams can back in this weekend even if they don’t win. New England would have been one of them, except Miami won big last night. Meanwhile, in the NFC, every team needs help, but two more can punch themselves a ticket into the field if they get it.

Hell, Oakland literally had nine different paths to clinching this weekend entering yesterday. Miami’s win narrowed it to two. For the sake of simplicity, however, they could also just stick to number one.

On Thursday night, the Seattle Seahawks expectedly clinched the NFC West title to become just the second team to wrap up a berth. As you will see in a moment, the road to the playoffs could be varied for several teams.

Editor’s Note: Below represents the NFL playoff clinching scenarios as of Saturday morning; changes as a result of Miami’s win over the New York Jets on Saturday night are reflected with strike-throughs. We left them there to show you how much narrower the Dolphins’ victory made the path for clinching this weekend for several teams.

Week 15 NFL Gameday: AFC Clinching Scenarios

This is going to take a little while.

The New England Patriots can clinch the AFC East in either of the following scenarios:

1. NE win or tie (at DEN)
2. MIA loss or tie (at NYJ)

The New England Patriots can clinch a first-round bye in any of the following scenarios:

1. NE win or tie (at DEN)
2. MIA loss or tie (at NYJ) AND PIT loss or tie (at CIN)
3. MIA loss or tie (at NYJ) AND KC win (vs. TEN)

The Kansas City Chiefs can clinch a playoff berth in any of the following scenarios:

1. KC win (vs. TEN)
2. KC tie (vs. TEN) AND MIA loss (at NYJ)
3. KC tie (vs. TEN) AND DEN loss or tie (vs. NE)
4. DEN loss (vs. NE) AND BAL loss or tie (vs. PHI)
5. DEN loss (vs. NE) AND PIT loss or tie (at CIN)

The Oakland Raiders can clinch a playoff berth in any of the following scenarios:

1. OAK win (at SD)
2. OAK tie (at SD) AND MIA loss (at NYJ)
3. OAK tie (at SD) AND DEN loss (vs. NE)
4. OAK tie (at SD) AND MIA tie (at NYJ) AND KC win (vs. TEN)
5. OAK tie (at SD) AND MIA tie (at NYJ) AND DEN tie (vs. NE)
6. MIA loss (at NYJ) AND PIT loss or tie (at CIN) AND DEN loss (vs. NE)
7. MIA loss (at NYJ) AND PIT loss or tie (at CIN) AND KC win (vs. TEN)
8. MIA loss (at NYJ) AND BAL loss or tie (vs. PHI) AND DEN loss (vs. NE)
9. MIA loss (at NYJ) AND BAL loss or tie (vs. PHI) AND KC win or tie (vs. TEN)

Week 15 NFL Gameday: NFC Clinching Scenarios

The Dallas Cowboys can clinch the NFC East in either of the following scenarios:

1. DAL win (vs. TB) AND NYG loss or tie (vs. DET)
2. DAL tie (vs. TB) AND NYG loss (vs. DET)

The Dallas Cowboys can clinch NFC home field advantage in the following scenario:

1. DAL win (vs. TB) AND tie between NYG and DET

The Detroit Lions can clinch the NFC North in either of the following scenarios:

1. DET win (at NYG) AND GB loss or tie (at CHI)
2. DET tie (at NYG) AND GB loss (at CHI) AND MIN loss or tie (vs. IND)

The New York Giants can clinch a playoff berth in the following scenario:

1. NYG win (vs. DET) AND WSH loss (vs. CAR) AND MIN loss or tie (vs. IND) AND GB loss or tie (at CHI)

Week 15 NFL Gameday: Tampa Bay at Dallas

Highlighting the game of the day in the Metroplex, but there are several others of high quality this week. Dallas is looking for a response after letting the Giants come back to beat them last weekend. Tampa Bay, on the other hand, is as hot as anyone.

The Bucs can add another piece to their standing as a legitimate playoff threat with a win in Arlington. It also gives us an opportunity to see if other teams can now figure out Dallas, or just the Giants.

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