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NFL Week 15 playoff clinching scenarios: Bengals clinch AFC North with a win vs 49ers and a Steelers loss

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The Bengals can clinch the AFC North this weekend with a Steelers loss.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The clinching scenarios for this week are out and the Bengals need a win against the 49ers and need the Steelers to lose to clinch the AFC North. That may be more difficult than it sounds with Andy Dalton injured and not playing on Sunday. But, the Bengals are more than capable of beating the 49ers, even without Dalton. The Bengals can also clinch the playoffs if the Jets or Chiefs lose.

AFC

CINCINNATI BENGALS (at San Francisco, Sunday)

Cincinnati clinches AFC North division with:

  1. CIN win or tie + PIT tie OR
  2. PIT loss

Cincinnati clinches a playoff spot with:

  1. CIN win OR
  2. NYJ loss OR
  3. KC loss OR
  4. CIN tie + KC tie OR
  5. CIN tie + NYJ tie

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (vs. Tennessee, Sunday)

CLINCHED: New England - AFC East

New England clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. NE win + DEN loss OR
  2. NE win + CIN loss + DEN tie

DENVER BRONCOS (at Pittsburgh, Sunday)

Denver clinches AFC West division with:

  1. DEN win + KC loss or tie OR
  2. DEN tie + KC loss

Denver clinches a playoff spot with:

  1. DEN win  OR
  2. DEN tie + NYJ loss​

NFC

CAROLINA PANTHERS (at New York Giants, Sunday)

CLINCHED: Carolina - NFC South and a first-round bye

Carolina clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

  1. CAR win + ARI loss or tie OR
  2. CAR tie + ARI loss

ARIZONA CARDINALS (at Philadelphia, Sunday night)

CLINCHED: Arizona - playoff berth

Arizona clinches NFC West division with:

  1. ARI win or tie OR
  2. SEA loss or tie OR
  3. ARI clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over SEA

(Note: ARI clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over SEA in scenario 3 if all of the following occurs: CIN win, NO win, DAL loss, PIT loss)

Arizona clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. ARI win + GB loss or tie OR
  2. ARI tie + GB loss

GREEN BAY PACKERS (at Oakland, Sunday)

Green Bay clinches a playoff spot with:

  1. GB win or tie OR
  2. TB loss or tie + WAS loss or tie OR
  3. TB loss or tie + NYG loss or tie

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (vs. Cleveland, Sunday)

Seattle clinches a playoff spot with:

  1. SEA win + TB loss or tie + NYG loss or tie OR
  2. SEA win + TB loss or tie + WAS loss or tie OR
  3. SEA win + TB loss or tie + ATL loss or tie + MIN loss + GB win or tie OR
  4. SEA tie + TB loss + ATL loss or tie + NYG loss OR
  5. SEA tie + TB loss + ATL loss or tie + WAS loss + PHI loss or tie

MINNESOTA VIKINGS (vs. Chicago, Sunday)

Minnesota clinches a playoff spot with:

  1. MIN win + TB loss or tie + WAS loss or tie + ATL loss or tie OR
  2. MIN win + TB loss or tie + WAS loss or tie + SEA loss or tie OR
  3. MIN win + TB loss or tie + NYG loss or tie + ATL loss or tie OR
  4. MIN win + TB loss or tie + NYG loss or tie + SEA loss or tie OR
  5. MIN tie + TB loss + ATL loss or tie + PHI loss or tie + WAS loss OR
  6. MIN tie + TB loss + ATL loss or tie + PHI loss or tie + NYG loss OR
  7. MIN tie + TB loss + ATL loss or tie + WAS loss or tie + NYG loss or tie (as long as WAS and NYG both don't tie)