2023 NFL playoff scenarios: Who’s in, tiebreakers, clinch scenarios after Week 15

Only three weeks remain in the NFL regular season. Several teams have already secured a spot in the postseason, while many playoff spots and seedings remain to be decided.

Here’s how the AFC and NFC playoff races are shaping up after Week 15.

AFC DIVISION LEADERS

  • West: Kansas City (9-6) is currently ahead of Denver (7-8) for the division lead and will clinch the division if they win next week
  • East: Miami (11-4) is currently two games ahead of Buffalo (9-6) for the division lead and has already earned a spot in the playoffs. The Dolphins will win the division next week if they win; the two will also play in the last week of the season.
  • south: Jacksonville, Indianapolis and Houston are tied 8-7, but Jacksonville owns the head-to-head over Indianapolis and is ahead of Houston in the tiebreaker, even though the two split the series. The Jaguars will win the division if they win their last two games.
  • North: Baltimore (12-3) is currently ahead of Cleveland (10-5) for the division lead, and has already earned a spot in the playoffs. A win next week will see them win the division.

AFC WILD CARD

  • Cleveland is currently in the top wild card spot at 10-5 with three AFC games remaining on their schedule; they can still mathematically win their division if the Ravens lose on Monday.
  • Buffalo is currently the second wild card at 9-6; they can still win their division if they win and the Dolphins lose next week
  • Indianapolis is currently in the third wild card spot at 8-7; they can still win their division but will have to finish with a better record than jacksonville as they lost both head to head games against them. *The Colts are ahead of the Texans because they own the head-to-head against them, and they are ahead of the Steelers because they also own the head-to-head against them.
  • Houston (8-7), Pittsburgh (8-7) and Cincinnati (8-7) are each in the hunt and mathematically still in play for a wild-card spot. * The Texans are ahead of the Steelers due to owning the head-to-head against them.* The Steelers are ahead of the Bengals because they swept them in the regular season.
  • Tennessee, New York, Los Angeles and New England were eliminated from playoff contention

Does Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills, deserve more RESPECT after the sustained win against the Chargers?

Does Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills, deserve more RESPECT after the sustained win against the Chargers?

AFC NO. 1 SEEDS

  • Baltimore currently owns the top seed at 12-3 and owns the head-to-head matchup against Jacksonville; they play Miami in Week 17 and have/have not played Kansas City this season (so a tiebreaker will be used if the two finish atop the conference). They will clinch first place if they beat the Dolphins next week.
  • Miami is currently the No. 2 seed at 11-4 and plays Baltimore in Week 17; they will win first place if they win.
  • Kansas City is currently the No. 3 seed at 9-6 and can’t get the No. 1 seed after Baltimore’s win against San Francisco.

“Competitive greatness was the key” — Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa in win over

„Ключът беше състезателното величие“ — Туа Таговайлоа от Dolphins при победата над <a href=

THE NFC DIVISION LEADERS

  • west: San Francisco (11-4) concluded the division.
  • East: Philadelphia (11-4) currently holds a one-game lead over the Cowboys and has already earned a spot in the playoffs regardless of whether they win the division; the two split their head-to-head matches and therefore tiebreakers will come into play if they finish with the same record.
  • south: Tampa Bay is atop the division at 8-7 and will close out its season with two divisional games against New Orleans and Carolina; they will win the division if they win.
  • north: Detroit (11-4) concluded the division.

NFC WILD CARD

  • Dallas (10-5) earned a spot in the playoffs regardless of whether they win the division and at worst be a wildcard entrant (they can still win their division as mentioned above).
  • The Los Angeles Rams are currently the second wild card entrant at 8-7; their last two games are all against NFC opponents (New York, San Francisco).*The Rams are ahead of the Seahawks as they swept them in the regular season.
  • Seattle is currently the third wild card seed at 8-7 and enters Monday with a better record than Minnesota, Atlanta, Green Bay and New Orleans.
  • Minnesota (7-8), Atlanta (7-8), Green Bay (7-8) and New Orleans (7-8) are each in the hunt and mathematically still in play for a wild-card spot.* The Vikings are -ahead of the Packers and Falcons because they own the head-to-head against each.*The Falcons are ahead of the Saints and the Packers because they own the head-to-head against them.*The Packers are ahead of the Saints because of owning the head-to-head against them.
  • Washington, Arizona and Carolina were eliminated from playoff contention.

Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins EDGE PAST Dak Prescott, Cowboys

Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins EDGE PAST Dak Prescott, Cowboys

NFC NO. 1 SEEDS

  • San Francisco currently owns the top seed at 11-4 and owns head-to-head tiebreakers over Dallas (10-5) and Philadelphia (11-4).
  • Philadelphia is currently seeded #2 and ahead of the Lions due to greater hitting power (.479 to the Lions’ .436).
  • Detroit is currently the No. 3 seed, but doesn’t play San Francisco or Philadelphia this season — so tiebreakers will be used if each ends up tied atop the conference

Tiebreak (two clubs)

  1. Head-to-head (best win-loss-tie percentage in games between clubs).
  2. Best win-loss-tie percentage in games played within the division.
  3. Best win-loss-tie percentage in regular games.
  4. Best win-loss-tie percentage in games played within the conference.
  5. The power to win all games.
  6. Graphics strength in all games
  7. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed in all games.
  8. Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and allowed in all games.
  9. Best net points in regular games.
  10. Best net points in all games.
  11. Best netting touchdowns in all games.
  12. Tossing a coin

Tiebreak (three clubs or more)

(Note: If two clubs remain tied after one or more clubs are eliminated during any step, the tiebreaker restarts at Step 1 of a two-club format. If three clubs remain tied after the fourth club is eliminated during any step, the tiebreak restarts at step 1 of a three-club format.)

  1. Head-to-head (best win-loss-tie percentage between clubs).
  2. Best win-loss-tie percentage in games played within the division.
  3. Best win-loss-tie percentage in regular games.
  4. Best win-loss-tie percentage in games played within the conference.
  5. The power to win all games.
  6. Graphics strength in all games.
  7. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed in all games.
  8. Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and allowed in all games.
  9. Best net points in casual games.
  10. Best net points in all games.
  11. Best netting touchdowns in all games.
  12. Tossing a coin

*Above tiebreaker rules via NFL.com


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