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NFL Week 17 playoff implications

Posted: 10:03 PM, Dec 30, 2015
Updated: 2015-12-31 03:03:12Z
NFL Week 17 playoff implications

With the final week of the NFL regular season this weekend, a number of teams face major playoff implications in Week 17.

Our of the 12 playoff spots, only two are up for grabs as all six tickets have been punched in the NFC. In the AFC, four teams have earned one of the six spots with four teams vying for the final two berths.

New England, Carolina and Arizona have clinched first-round byes with Cincinnati or Denver claiming the final first-round bye. Other than the three-teams that have clinched first-round byes, only Cincinnati and Washington have earned a guaranteed playoff home game.

Green Bay, Minnesota and Seattle round out the squads that clinched a playoff spot in the NFC. Kansas City has also clinched a playoff spot, and can earn the division title with a win and a Denver loss.

Here are the official playoff scenarios from the NFL.

AFC

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

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (at Miami)
New England clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:
1. NE win or tie OR
2. DEN loss or tie

DENVER BRONCOS (vs. San Diego)
Denver clinches AFC West division with:
1. DEN win or tie OR
2. KC loss or tie
Denver clinches a first-round bye with:
1. DEN win OR
2. DEN tie + CIN loss or tie OR
3. KC loss or tie + CIN loss
Denver clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs:
1. DEN win + NE loss

CINCINNATI BENGALS (vs. Baltimore)
Cincinnati clinches a first-round bye with:
1. CIN win + DEN loss or tie OR
2. CIN tie + DEN loss OR
3. DEN loss + KC win

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (vs. Oakland)
Kansas City clinches AFC West division with:
1. KC win + DEN loss
NEW YORK JETS (at Buffalo)
The New York Jets clinch a playoff spot with:
1. NYJ win or tie OR
2. PIT loss or tie

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (at Cleveland)
Pittsburgh clinches a playoff spot with:
1. PIT win + NYJ loss

HOUSTON TEXANS (vs. Jacksonville)
Houston clinches AFC South division with:
1. HOU win or tie OR
2. IND loss or tie OR
HOU clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over IND or clinches strength of schedule tiebreaker over IND.
Note: HOU clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over IND if one of the following teams wins or ties: CIN, NE, NO, NYJ, SD.
HOU clinches strength of schedule tiebreaker over IND if KC wins or ties and BAL wins or ties as long as both teams don't tie.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (vs. Tennessee)
Indianapolis clinches AFC South division with:
1. IND win + HOU loss + IND ties HOU in strength of victory tiebreaker and clinches strength of schedule tiebreaker over HOU.

Note: IND ties HOU in strength of victory tiebreaker and clinches strength of schedule tiebreaker over HOU if BOTH of the following occurs:
1. All of the following teams win: ATL, BAL, BUF, DEN, MIA.
2. OAK win or tie + PIT win or tie as long as both teams don't tie.
If Houston and Indianapolis end up tied in strength of victory and tied in strength of schedule, the teams would then go to the next tiebreaker, which is best combined ranking among AFC teams in points scored and points allowed in all games.

NFC

CLINCHED
Carolina -- NFC South and a first-round bye
Arizona -- NFC West and a first-round bye
Washington -- NFC East
Green Bay -- playoff berth
Minnesota -- playoff berth
Seattle -- playoff berth

CAROLINA PANTHERS (vs. Tampa Bay)
Carolina clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:
1. CAR win or tie OR
2. ARI loss or tie

ARIZONA CARDINALS (vs. Seattle)
Arizona clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:
1. ARI win + CAR loss

GREEN BAY PACKERS (vs. Minnesota)
Green Bay clinches NFC North division with:
1. GB win or tie

MINNESOTA VIKINGS (at Green Bay)
Minnesota clinches NFC North division with:
1. MIN win
 

Justin Boggs is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk.  Follow him on Twitter¬†@jjboggs.