NFL playoff scenarios and schedule for Week 18

NFL

Week 18 of the 2021 NFL season is upon us. The playoff picture is quite a bit clearer than it was even one week ago — with a number of spots clinched in Week 17 — but there are many questions to be answered as the postseason bracket is filled up.

In the NFC, six teams have already clinched spots, including the Packers (the No. 1 seed) and division champion Buccaneers and Cowboys. The NFC West title remains up for grabs, as does the last wild-card spot, with two clubs looking to clinch.

Over in the AFC, the Titans, Chiefs and Bengals have clinched their respective divisions, while the Bills and Patriots look to grab the AFC East title. Four teams remain in play for the No. 1 seed, with five others vying for the remaining two wild-card spots.

There’s still a lot to play for, starting with two Saturday games and ending Sunday night with a win-and-you’re-in game between the Chargers and Raiders. Here’s the full Week 18 schedule, along with the clinching scenarios for the teams still in the hunt.

WEEK 18 SCHEDULE

Saturday

4:30 p.m. ET

Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos (ESPN, ABC, ESPN+)

8:15 p.m. ET

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (ESPN, ABC, ESPN+)

Sunday

1 p.m. ET

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions
Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings
Washington Football Team at New York Giants
Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans

4:25 p.m. ET

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills
San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

8:20 p.m. ET

Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders

CURRENT PLAYOFF PICTURE

NFC

Six teams have already clinched playoff berths: GB, LAR, TB, DAL, ARI and PHI

(1) Packers: First-round bye
(7) Eagles at (2) Rams
(6) 49ers at (3) Buccaneers
(5) Cardinals at (4) Cowboys

AFC

Five teams have already clinched playoff berths: TEN, KC, CIN, BUF and NE

(1) Titans: First-round bye
(7) Chargers at (2) Chiefs
(6) Colts at (3) Bengals
(5) Patriots at (4) Bills

WEEK 18 PLAYOFF CLINCHING AND SEEDING SCENARIOS

For many teams, it is a good thing there is one more week of the season. Some are looking to squeeze into the playoffs as others try to gain positioning and clinch their division. Here are the clinching scenarios:

Race for NFC playoff spots

  1. Saints clinch with win and 49ers loss

  2. 49ers clinch with win or Saints loss


Race for NFC West title

  1. Cardinals clinch NFC West with win and Rams loss

  2. Rams clinch NFC West with win or Cardinals loss


Race for AFC playoff berths

Ravens clinch with

  1. Win and Colts loss and Chargers loss and Dolphins loss

Colts clinch with:

  1. Win or

  2. Steelers loss and Chargers loss and Dolphins win

Raiders clinch with:

  1. Win or

  2. Tie and Colts loss or

  3. Colts loss and Steelers loss

Chargers clinch with:

  1. Win or

  2. Tie

Steelers clinch with:

  1. Win and Colts loss and Chargers-Raiders doesn’t end in tie

play

1:11

Dan Orlovsky breaks down why he thinks the Colts have the best formula to knock off the Chiefs in the AFC playoffs.


Race for AFC No. 1 seed (and first-round bye)

Titans clinch with:

  1. Win or

  2. Chiefs loss and Bengals loss and Patriots loss or

  3. Chiefs loss and Bengals loss and Bills win

Chiefs clinch with:

  1. Win and Titans loss

Bengals clinch with:

  1. Win and Titans loss and Chiefs loss and Patriots loss or

  2. Win and Titans loss and Chiefs loss and Bills win

Patriots clinch with:

  1. Win and Bills loss and Titans loss and Chiefs loss


Race for AFC East title

  1. Bills clinch with win or Patriots loss

  2. Patriots clinch with win and Bills loss

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