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NFL Week 14 playoff clinching scenarios: Bengals have 3 ways to clinch

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The Bengals can clinch a spot in the playoffs whether or not they win this weekend. But if they win, it'll be the AFC North they clinch.

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The Bengals can officially clinch a playoff berth this weekend and there are three ways to make it happen. The best way to do it is to beat the Steelers, which will give the Bengals the AFC North crown. Here is every playoff clinching scenario for not only the Bengals, but for the Patriots, Broncos and Cardinals, too, who can also clinch this weekend. The undefeated Carolina Panthers already clinched a playoff berth, but they can clinch a first round bye this weekend with a win.

AFC

CINCINNATI BENGALS (vs. Pittsburgh, Sunday)

Cincinnati clinches AFC North division with:

  1. CIN win or tie

Cincinnati clinches a playoff spot with:

  1. NYJ loss OR
  2. KC loss

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (at Houston, Sunday)

New England clinches AFC East division with:

  1. ​NE win + NE clinches at least a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over NYJ OR
  2. NE win + NYJ loss or tie OR
  3. NE tie + NYJ loss OR
  4. NE tie + NYJ tie + NE clinches at least a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over NYJ OR
  5. NYJ loss + NE clinches at least a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over NYJ

(Note: NE clinches at least a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker in scenarios 1, 4 and 5 if two of the following occur: BUF win, PIT win, MIA loss, CLE loss)

New England clinches a playoff spot with:

  1. NE win OR
  2. PIT loss OR
  3. NYJ loss OR
  4. NE tie + KC loss OR
  5. NE tie + PIT tie OR
  6. NE tie + NYJ tie

DENVER BRONCOS (vs. Oakland, 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 + NYJ loss or tie OR
  2. DEN win + PIT loss or tie OR
  3. DEN tie + NYJ loss OR
  4. DEN tie + PIT loss

NFC

CLINCHED: Carolina - NFC South

CAROLINA PANTHERS (vs. Atlanta, Sunday)

Carolina clinches a first-round bye with:

  1. CAR win or tie OR
  2. MIN loss or tie + GB loss or tie

ARIZONA CARDINALS (vs. Minnesota, Thursday)

Arizona clinches NFC West division with:

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

Arizona clinches a playoff spot with:

  1. ARI win or tie OR
  2. TB loss or tie + ATL loss or tie OR
  3. TB loss or tie + GB win or tie