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First playoff clinching scenarios arrive for Week 13

The Saints, Patriots, and 49ers can all clinch a playoff berth this week. We break down the clinching scenarios in Week 13.

New Orleans Saints kicker Wil Lutz celebrates with teammates after hitting a game winning field goal against the Carolina Panthers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Thanksgiving is upon us, and with it comes the biggest playoff implications to date. Week 13 marks the first time anybody will be able to clinch some of kind of playoff scenarios. The New Orleans Saints can clinch the NFC South, and the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers can each clinch a playoff berth with a win and some help.

New Orleans Saints

The Saints travel to face the Atlanta Falcons on Thanksgiving. If the Saints win, they clinch the NFC South division title. If the Saints tie and the Carolina Panthers either lose or tie, the Saint clinch the NFC South.

1. NO win OR
2. NO tie + Panthers (vs. Washington) loss or tie

New England Patriots

The Patriots travel to face the Houston Texans on Sunday Night Football. The 49ers are two games up on the Buffalo Bills in the AFC East, so it will be at least two weeks before they can clinch the division. However, if the Patriots win or tie against Houston, they can clinch a playoff berth with the following scenarios.

  1. NE win + Raiders (@ Chiefs) loss or tie OR
  2. NE win + Steelers (vs. Browns) loss or tie OR
  3. NE tie + Raiders loss + Steelers loss OR
  4. NE tie + Raiders loss + Colts (vs. Titans) loss OR
  5. NE tie + Steelers loss + Colts loss

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers travel to face the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. The Patriots are one game up on the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West, so they won’t be clinching the division anytime soon. However, if the 49ers win or tie against Baltimore, they can clinch a playoff berth with the following scenarios.

  1. SF win + Rams (@ Cardinals) loss or tie OR
  2. SF tie + Rams loss