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NFL playoff picture: Scenarios for Chiefs, Chargers, others to clinch in Week 14 | NFL

Week 14 is here, and with the NFL playoff picture becoming more clear, clinching scenarios are in play for the Saints, Rams, Chiefs, Chargers, Texans and Patriots, the largest group in a given week thus far as the 2018 season closes.

The Rams, who already clinched the NFC West, have a chance to be the first team to clinch a first-round bye in the playoffs. They simply need to beat the Bears on Sunday night.

In the AFC, the Chiefs and Chargers both can clinch a playoff spot this week, but the battle for the AFC West title will continue into next week. The Patriots and Texans, meanwhile, have chances to clinch their own divisions.

WEEK 14 PICKS: Against spread | Straight up

Below are the NFL playoff clinching scenarios in play for Week 14, plus the overall playoff picture as the fourth quarter of the 2018 season arrives.

NFL playoff clinching scenarios


Los Angeles Rams (11-1)

(at Chicago)

— Los Angeles clinches a first round bye with:

  1. LAR win

New Orleans Saints (10-2)

(at Tampa Bay)

— New Orleans clinches NFC South division title with:

  1. NO win or tie OR
  2. CAR loss or tie

— New Orleans clinches a playoff berth with:

  1. MIN loss + PHI loss or tie + WAS loss or tie


Kansas City Chiefs (10-2)

(vs. Baltimore)

— Kansas City clinches a playoff berth with:

  1. KC win or tie OR
  2. MIA loss or tie + IND loss or tie + TEN loss or tie

New England Patriots (9-3)

(at Miami)

— New England clinches AFC East division title with:

  1. NE win or tie

Houston Texans (9-3)

(vs. Indianapolis)

— Houston clinches AFC South division title with:

  1. HOU win + TEN loss or tie OR
  2. HOU tie + TEN loss

Los Angeles Chargers (9-3)

(vs. Cincinnati)

— Los Angeles clinches a playoff berth with:

  1. LAC win + MIA loss or tie + DEN loss or tie + IND loss or tie + TEN loss or tie OR
  2. LAC tie + MIA loss + DEN loss + IND loss or tie + TEN loss or tie as long as both IND and TEN both don’t tie 

NFL playoff picture

1. Kansas City Chiefs (10-2)
3. New England Patriots (9-3)
4. Houston Texans (9-3)
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-4-1)
5. Los Angeles Chargers (9-3)
6. Baltimore Ravens (7-5)

In the hunt:
Miami Dolphins (6-6)
Indianapolis Colts (6-6)
Denver Broncos (6-6)
Tennessee Titans (6-6)
Cincinnati Bengals (5-7)
Cleveland Browns (4-7-1)
Buffalo Bills (4-8)
Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8)
New York Jets (3-9)
Oakland Raiders (2-10)

MORE: Analysis of current playoff picture

1. Los Angeles Rams (11-1)
2. New Orleans Saints (10-2)
3. Chicago Bears (8-4)
4. Dallas Cowboys (7-5)
5. Seattle Seahawks (7-5)
6. Minnesota Vikings (6-5-1)

In the hunt:
Carolina Panthers (6-6)
Philadelphia Eagles (6-6)
Washington Redskins (6-6)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-7)
Green Bay Packers (4-7-1)
Atlanta Falcons (4-8)
New York Giants (4-8)
Detroit Lions (4-8)
Arizona Cardinals (3-9)
San Francisco 49ers (2-10)

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