NFL Week 18 playoff scenarios:
The following teams still have potential playoff relevance heading into the final week of the regular season. The most likely and plausible scenarios are covered here.
All week 18 games are divisional games.
1. Tennessee Titans (11-5) – The Titans clinched the AFC South, and have a strong chance to earn the AFC’s first round bye as the #1 seed with a win at Houston this week.
RB Rex Burkhead needs 103 total yards to trigger a $125,000 bonus.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) – The Chiefs clinched the AFC West, and have a very small chance to earn the #1 seed. The Chiefs would need a win at Denver AND a Titans’ loss for the #1 seed.
3. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6) – The Bengals clinched the AFC North. The Bengals head to Cleveland this week. The Bengals own the tiebreaker over the Bills based on Conference Record (8-3 vs 6-5).
WR Ja’Marr Chase needs 45 receiving yards to set the single-season rookie record.
QB Joe Burrow (rest) and RB Joe Mixon (C-19) are out.
4. Buffalo Bills (10-6) – The Bills can clinch the AFC East with a home win against the Jets. The Bills own the tiebreaker over the Patriots based on Division Record (4-1 vs 3-2). The Bills have clinched a playoff berth regardless.
WR Stefon Diggs needs 6 receptions to trigger a $1.55 million escalator to his future contract. He currently sits at 94 receptions.
5. New England Patriots (10-6) – The Patriots have clinched a playoff spot. They have a miniscule shot at the division title, but would need a win at Miami (eliminated from playoffs) AND a Bills’ loss.
6. Indianapolis Colts (9-7) – The Colts can clinch a playoff spot with a win at Jacksonville (eliminated). The Colts own the tiebreaker over the Chargers based on Conference Record (7-4 vs 6-5).
WR Marvin Jones Jr. needs 4 receptions for a $500K bonus. He currently sits at 66 receptions.
7. Los Angeles Chargers (9-7) – With a win in Las Vegas, the Chargers can claim the final playoff spot on Sunday night.
Las Vegas Raiders (9-7) – With a home win against the Chargers, the Raiders can claim the final playoff spot on Sunday night.
Still alive, but needs help:
Pittsburgh Steelers (8-7-1) – The Steelers will need a win at Baltimore AND a Colts’ loss for a playoff spot AND the Chargers-Raiders game to not end in a tie, regardless of who wins.
TE Mark Andrews needs 141 receiving yards to set the single-season tight end record.
Baltimore Ravens (8-8) – The Ravens will need a home win over the Steelers AND get losses by the Browns, Chargers, Colts, and Dolphins for a playoff spot.
1. Green Bay Packers (13-3) – The Packers clinched the NFC North, and the #1 seed. The Packers have nothing additional to gain but will travel to Detroit this week.
FWIW, per Aaron Rodgers on the Pat McAfee show, “The plan is to play on Sunday… I’m a believer in momentum and I think it’s important for us to keep that momentum going”.
2. Los Angeles Rams (12-4) – The Rams can clinch the NFC West with a home win against the 49ers (still alive), OR a Cardinals’ loss. The Rams own the tiebreaker over the Bucs on Head-to-Head.
WR Cooper Kupp potential single-season records:
– Needs 12 receptions
– Needs 136 receiving yards
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12-4) – The Buccaneers clinched the NFC South. The Bucs can claim the #2 seed with a home win against the Panthers (eliminated) AND a Rams’ loss.
WR Mike Evans needs 54 receiving yards for 1,000 receiving yards in 8 straight seasons. He already owns the record as the only player with 7 straight 1,000 yard seasons to start a career.
TE Rob Gronkowski can earn additional $500,000 bonuses each for hitting any of these 3 stats:
– 7 receptions (would give him 55 for the season)
– 85 receiving yards (would give him 750 for the season)
– 3 TDs (would give him 9 for the season)
4. Dallas Cowboys (11-5) – The Cowboys clinched the NFC East. They head to Philadelphia (playoff berth) this week.
5. Arizona Cardinals (11-5) – The Cardinals have secured a playoff spot. The Cardinals can clinch the NFC West with a home win over the Seahawks (eliminated) AND a Rams loss.
WR A.J. Green can earn additional $250,000 bonuses each for hitting any of these 2 stats:
– 75 receiving yards (would give him 900 for the season)
– 10 receptions (would give him 60 for the season)
6. San Francisco 49ers (9-7) – The 49ers have a strong chance to get a playoff spot, with a win over the Rams, OR a Saints’ loss. The 49ers own the tiebreaker over the Eagles on Head-to-Head.
7. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) – The Eagles have secured a playoff spot. They host the Cowboys this week.
Still alive, but needs help:
New Orleans Saints (8-8) – The Saints can clinch a playoff berth with a win at the Falcons (eliminated) AND a loss by the 49ers.
TE Kyle Pitts needs 59 receiving yards to set the single-season rookie tight end record.