NFL Week 17 Playoff scenarios for 2015

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We have reached the final weekend of the 2015 NFL regular season and playoff spots and seeding remains up for grabs for numerous teams across the league.

Below we do our best to help fans understand exactly what needs to happen for each team to claim bye weeks, home games or simply a playoff spot.

AFC Playoff Scenarios

CLINCHED: New England – AFC East and a first-round bye, Cincinnati – AFC North, Denver – playoff berth, Kansas City – playoff berth.

New England (at Miami)
New England clinch home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with a win or tie OR a Denver loss or tie

Denver (vs. San Diego)
Denver clinches the AFC West with a win or tie OR a Kansas City loss or tie.
Denver clinches a first-round bye with a win OR a tie and a Cincinnati loss or tie OR a Kansas City loss or tie and a Cincinnati loss.
Denver clinches home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win and a New England loss.

Cincinnati (vs. Baltimore)
Cincinnati clinches a first-round bye with a win and a Denver loss or tie, OR a tie and a Denver loss, OR a Denver loss and Kansas City win.

Kansas City (vs. Oakland)
Kansas City clinches the AFC West with a win and a Denver loss.

New York (at Buffalo)
The New York Jets clinch a wild card with a win or tie OR a Pittsburgh loss or tie.

Pittsburgh (at Cleveland)
Pittsburgh clinches a wild card with a win and a Jets loss.

Houston (vs. Jacksonville)
Houston clinches the AFC South with a win or tie OR an Indianapolis loss or tie OR via strength of schedule if both teams lose. All Houston would need is a win or tie by one of the following; Cincinnati, New England, New Orleans, the New York Jets or San Diego. Houston also clinches the strength of schedule tiebreaker over Indianapolis if Kansas City wins or ties and Baltimore wins or ties as long as both do not tie.

Indianapolis (vs. Tennessee)
Indianapolis clinches the AFC South with a win and a Houston loss if all of the following teams win; Atlanta, Baltimore, Buffalo, Denver and Miami PLUS Oakland and Pittsburgh either win or tie, but they don’t both tie.

If somehow a mixture of this and above occurs due to ties, the next tiebreaker is points scored and allowed. In that case Houston is currently ahead.

This scenario is extremely difficult to understand, remember or simply write out. That means there is really no chance of all of this chaos happening so do not get your hopes up. Especially since Stephen Morris is in line to start at quarterback for the Colts.

NFC

CLINCHED: Carolina – NFC South and a first-round bye, Arizona – NFC West and a first-round bye, Washington – NFC East and the No. 4 seed, Green Bay – playoff berth, Minnesota – playoff berth, Seattle – wild card.

Carolina (vs. Tampa Bay)
Carolina clinches home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs with a win or tie OR an Arizona loss or tie.

Arizona (vs. Seattle)
Arizona clinches home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs with a win and a Carolina loss.

Green Bay (vs. Minnesota, Sunday night)
Green Bay clinches the NFC North with a win or tie.
A loss leaves them as a Wild Card team.

Minnesota (at Green Bay, Sunday night)
Minnesota clinches NFC North division with a win.
A loss leaves them as a Wild Card team.