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NFL playoff picture: Who can clinch a playoff berth, who can be eliminated in Week 17

The NFL playoff picture is coming into focus. We break down who can punch their ticket and who can be mathematically elimimated for the 2023 NFL Playoffs in Week 17.

Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills calls a play during the first half against the Cincinnati Bengals at New Era Field on September 22, 2019 in Orchard Park, New York. Photo by Timothy T. Ludwig/Getty Images

The NFL wrapped up Week 16 on Monday with the Chargers clinching a playoff berth when they beat the Colts. LA can finish anywhere from fifth to seventh in the final AFC playoff standings.

The league now pivots toward Week 17. The Cowboys and Titans have begun preparations for their Thursday Night Football opener. The Cowboys are looking to keep the pressure on the Eagles in the NFC East. The Titans can still earn a wild card berth if they keep winning, but their best playoff shot is in Week 18. The winner of the Titans-Jaguars regular season finale will clinch the AFC South title.

The full playoff field cannot be finalized until Week 18, but four more teams can secure a playoff berth in Week 17. The Eagles and Bills can both lock up the No. 1 seed in their respective conferences. The most interesting team this coming week will be the Commanders. They can clinch a playoff berth with a win and some help, or they could be eliminated if they lose and a couple other breaks don’t go their way.

Below is a look at every clinching and elimination scenario heading into Week 17. We’ve removed any that involve ties because of how unlikely ties are in the NFL.

Playoff clinching scenarios

Philadelphia Eagles

Clinch NFC East with:

  • Win, OR
  • Cowboys loss

Clinch No. 1 seed with:

  • Win, OR
  • Cowboys loss + Vikings loss + 49ers loss

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Clinch NFC South with:

  • Win

New York Giants

Clinch playoff berth with:

  • Win, OR
  • Commanders loss + Seahawks loss
  • Commanders loss + Lions loss + Packers loss
  • Seahawks loss + Lions loss + Packers loss

Washington Commanders

Clinch playoff berth with:

  • Win + Seahawks loss + Lions loss + Packers loss

Buffalo Bills

Clinch No. 1 seed with:

  • Win + Chiefs loss

Cincinnati Bengals

Clinch AFC North with:

  • Win + Ravens loss

Miami Dolphins

Clinch playoff berth with:

  • Win + Jets loss

Playoff elimination scenarios

Carolina Panthers

  • Loss

New Orleans Saints

  • Loss, OR
  • Bucs win + Commanders win, OR
  • Bucs win + Lions win + Packers win

Washington Commanders

  • Loss + Lions win + Packers win

Detroit Lions

  • Loss + Commanders win

Green Bay Packers

  • Loss + Lions win, OR
  • Loss + Commanders win

Seattle Seahawks

  • Loss + Commanders win
  • Loss + Lions win + Packers win

New England Patriots

  • Loss

New York Jets

  • Loss

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Loss, OR
  • Dolphins win

Las Vegas Raiders

  • Loss, OR
  • Dolphins win, OR
  • Jets win