2023 NFL playoffs: Week 18 clinching scenarios for AFC and NFC contenders


Week 17 of the 2022 NFL season is just in the books, and the Bills will be the only ones visiting the Bengals for Monday night’s showdown. So, as Week 18 approaches, which teams are officially in contention for the playoffs, and how does each actually decide on their trip to the postseason? Thanks for your inquiry. Thank you. Below is an up-to-date overview of all the latest clinch scenarios for the remaining open playoff spots.

AFC scenario

No. 1 seed (bye + home advantage)

The chief clinch either:

  • win + 1 bill loss
  • 2 Bill loss + Bengals loss

Invoices clinch either:

  • 2 wins
  • Bengals win + Chiefs loss
  • Victory vs. Patriots + Chiefs and Bengals Lost in Week 18

The Bengals will clinch either:

AFC South title

  • Clinch with Jaguar (8-8): Win/Tie vs. Titans
  • Clinch with Titans (7-9): Win with the Jaguars

AFC North title

  • Clinch for the Bengals (11-4): Win/Tie vs. Bills OR Win vs. Ravens

7th Seed Wildcard

  • Clinch for the Patriots (8-8): Losing Bills or Dolphins vs. Losing Jets AND Losing Steelers vs. Winning Browns AND Jaguars vs. Winning Titans
  • Dolphins (8-8) Clinch: Jets and Patriots Defeat at Bills
  • Clinch with Steelers (8-8): Win vs. Browns AND Dolphins Losing vs. Jets AND Patriots Losing Bills
  • Clinch for Jaguar (8-8): Losses by Titans vs. Dolphins, Patriots, and Steelers

NFC scenario

No. 1 seed (bye + home advantage)

The Eagles will clinch either:

  • Win/Tie vs. Giants
  • Cowboys loss/tie at Commanders
  • 49ers loss/tie vs. Cardinals

The 49ers will clinch either:

  • Win vs. Cardinals + Eagles Lost vs. Giants

A cowboy clinch either:

  • Commanders + Eagles Lost vs. Giants + 49ers Lost/Draw vs. Cardinals Win

NFC East Title

  • Eagles (13-3) clinch: Beat the Giants or lose to the Cowboys in Commander
  • Clinch for the Cowboys (12-4): Commanders AND Eagles Defeat vs. Giants Victory

7th Seed Wildcard

  • The Packers (8-8) clinch with: victory vs lions
  • Clinching for the Lions (8-8): Packers win AND Seahawks lose/Tie Rams OR Tie Packers AND Seahawks Lost Rams OR Tie Packers AND Rams-Seahawks tie AND Commanders win Cowboys
  • The Seahawks (8-8) clinch: Win vs Rams AND Packers Lose/Tie vs Lions, or Tie vs Rams AND Lions-Packers Tie AND Commanders Lose/Tie vs Cowboys

For a complete rundown of playoff standings, scenarios, and projected first-round matchups across the NFL, check out our updated postseason predictions Here.

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