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NFL Week 17 playoff clinching scenarios: Bengals can still earn #2 seed in AFC

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The Cincinnati Bengals still have a slim chance of getting the #2 seed in the AFC and a playoff bye, but, they'll need help from a bad team to make it happen.

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals may have lost to the Broncos on Monday Night Football, but they still have a small chance at earning a first round bye in the playoffs. If the Bengals win and the Chargers are able to beat the Broncos, the Bengals will earn the two seed. The Bengals can also lose to the Ravens and with a Denver loss and a Kansas City win, they could earn the two seed as well. Those scenarios are unlikely to happen as the Chargers are 4-11, in last place in the AFC West, but, crazier things have happened.

Here is the full list of playoff clinching, division clinching and bye clinching scenarios for every NFL team in the final weekend of the 2015-2016 NFL regular season.

AFC

CLINCHED:

New England - AFC East and a first-round bye
Cincinnati - AFC North
Denver - playoff berth
Kansas City - playoff berth

CINCINNATI BENGALS (vs. Baltimore)

Cincinnati clinches a first-round bye with:

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

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (at Miami)

New England clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:

  1. NE win or tie OR
  2. DEN loss or tie

DENVER BRONCOS (vs. San Diego)

Denver clinches AFC West division with:

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

Denver clinches a first-round bye with:

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

Denver clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs:

  1. ​DEN win + NE loss

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (vs. Oakland) 
Kansas City clinches AFC West division with:

  1. KC win + DEN loss

NEW YORK JETS (at Buffalo)

The New York Jets clinch a playoff spot with:

  1. ​NYJ win or tie OR
  2. PIT loss or tie

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (at Cleveland)

Pittsburgh clinches a playoff spot with:

  1. PIT win + NYJ loss

HOUSTON TEXANS (vs. Jacksonville)

Houston clinches AFC South division with:

  1. HOU win or tie OR
  2. IND loss or tie OR
  3. HOU clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over IND or clinches strength of schedule tiebreaker over IND

    Note: HOU clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over IND if one of the following teams wins or ties: CIN, NE, NO, NYJ, SD

HOU clinches strength of schedule tiebreaker over IND if KC wins or ties and BAL wins or ties as long as both teams don't tie

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (vs. Tennessee)

Indianapolis clinches AFC South division with:

  1. IND win + HOU loss + IND ties HOU in strength of victory tiebreaker and clinches strength of schedule tiebreaker over HOU

    Note: IND ties HOU in strength of victory tiebreaker and clinches strength of schedule tiebreaker over HOU if BOTH of the following occurs:
  1. all of the following teams win: ATL, BAL, BUF, DEN, MIA
  2. ​OAK win or tie + PIT win or tie as long as both teams don't tie

If Houston and Indianapolis end up tied in strength of victory and tied in strength of schedule, the teams would then go to the next tiebreaker, which is best combined ranking among AFC teams in points scored and points allowed in all games.

NFC

CLINCHED:

Carolina - NFC South and a first-round bye
Arizona - NFC West and a first-round bye
Washington - NFC East
Green Bay - playoff berth
Minnesota - playoff berth
Seattle - playoff berth

CAROLINA PANTHERS (vs. Tampa Bay)

Carolina clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

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

ARIZONA CARDINALS (vs. Seattle)

Arizona clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

  1. ARI win + CAR loss

GREEN BAY PACKERS (vs. Minnesota, Sunday night)

Green Bay clinches NFC North division with:

  1. GB win or tie

MINNESOTA VIKINGS (at Green Bay, Sunday night)

Minnesota clinches NFC North division with:​

  1. MIN win​