NFL Playoffs: Who Can Clinch this Week?

It’s Week 14 of the NFL season, which means we only have 3 more games until the highly anticipated playoffs begin. It’s been a tight race so far, and this year has offered some dramatics for every franchise, on and off the field. The NFL has got to feel pretty good right now, considering they have yet to cancel a single game.

Right now, only two teams have clinched a playoff berth already, those being the Kansas City Chiefs and the New Orleans Saints. Week 14 has numerous important games to pay attention to, as 3 more teams have the potential to clinch a spot in the postseason. On top of that, their are 15 teams that have a .500 record or better, and an NFC East Conference that’s terrible, but wide open for a playoff berth.

With that said, here are the games that matter the most for the potential clinching teams.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers currently sit atop of the rankings of the entire NFL with an 11-1 record. However, they have yet to clinch a playoff berth or the AFC North division as the Browns are knocking on their door. The Steelers are close to earning a playoff spot, and this week they have that opportunity with a little help from a division rival.

In order to guarantee their place at the dinner table, the Steelers are going to have to first win their game against a red hot Buffalo Bills team. This is one of the toughest teams Pitty will have to face this year, which means this game should be one for the ages.

Game to Watch

Browns vs Ravens

This weeks Monday Nigh matchup has huge implications. Cleveland needs a win to push themselves closer to a playoff spot, while the Ravens are fighting to stay alive this year. On top of that, the last time these teams faced each other, Lamar Jackson and the Ravens lit up the Browns, and absolutely blew them out of the water. The Browns are looking for revenge after defeating the Titans in an impressive fashion.

For the Steelers though, they’re going to need the Ravens to come out and repeat their Week 1 performance. If the Steelers can leave Buffalo with a W, and the Ravens upset the Browns in Cleveland, the Pittsburgh Steelers will be marching their way into the postseason, as they’ll clinch the AFC North and a playoff position.

Other Ways to Clinch a Playoff Spot

Now, if the Steelers and Ravens both win this week, the Steelers will clinch the AFC North. However, there are other ways Pittsburgh can clinch a playoff spot if the Browns end up winning their game.

  • PIT win/tie vs Bills OR
  • LV loss/tie OR
  • MIA loss/tie OR
  • TEN loss

Buffalo Bills

The Bills have been on fire as of late thanks to Josh Allen’s low key MVP caliber year. Buffalo currently has a 9-3 record, and are sitting in the 3 seed of the AFC. As I’ve already mentioned, the Bills are playing the Steelers this week, and both teams are vying for a playoff berth. This game has to be considered the game of the week with how high the stakes are. In order to clinch the playoffs though, the Bills are going to need a little bit of help across the league.

Games to Watch

Patriots vs Rams

This Thursday Night game is extremely important to the Buffalo Bills. Bills Mafia needs a string of losses from 4 different teams, and New England is one of them. However, if the Patriots end up beating the Rams, the rest of the games on this list are nil. So, for Thursday Night Football, Buffalo fans should be rooting for the Rams to win, OR, for the game to end in a tie.

Chiefs vs Dolphins

Miami is only 1 game back in the AFC East, and having them lose this week would be HUGE for the Buffalo Bills. The Chiefs have already clinched a playoff spot though, which means there is a chance Andy Reid benches his starters late in the game (he probably won’t). Miami has a legit chance to win this one, which wouldn’t bode well for the Bills. Either way, this Chiefs/Dolphins game has major implications for both the Dolphins, and the Bills.

Colts vs Raiders

As of right now, the Colts are sitting in the 7th seed, while the Raiders are in the hunt at the 8th seed. This is a huge game for both of these franchises, as the Colts have a chance to usurp first place in the AFC South if the Titans were to fall to the Jaguars. On the other hand, Las Vegas aims to keep their playoff hopes alive and could find themselves in the 7th seed heading into Week 15. As for the Bills, the Raiders losing this game is in their best interest.

Browns vs Ravens

Just like the Steelers, this Browns/Ravens games is going to be one where fan bases for the Bills and Steelers will be paying attention to. However, instead of rooting for Baltimore, Bills fans will be going for the Browns. This is the exact opposite of what the Steelers need, which makes both of these games this week incredibly important for all 4 franchises.

Green Bay Packers

The Pack-Attack are the 3rd team that have an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth this week, and would be the 2nd NFC team to guarantee themselves going to the postseason. In order for the Packers to earn their spot, they’ll first need to win their game against the Lions. Luckily for Green Bay, the Lions are one of the worst teams in the league, and the Packers should be able to walk away from this game with a victory. However, in order to win the NFC North, they’re going to need a little help from Tom Brady and the Bucs.

Game to Watch

Vikings vs Buccaneers

This game has nearly everything on the line for both of these franchises. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are currently in the 6th seed, while the Vikings have scratched and clawed their way into 7th place in the NFC playoff race. One of these teams could very well find themselves on the bubble after this game, especially if the Cardinals can beat the Giants. At the end of the day though, the Packers need the Bucs to win in order to clinch the NFC North.

Other Ways to Clinch a Playoff Spot

Green Bay can still clinch the playoffs this week even if the Vikings end up beating the Buccaneers this week. It would just elongate winning the NFC North for the Packers. But here are the different ways Green Bay can clinch a playoff spot:

  • GB win + ARI loss/tie OR
  • GB win + LAR loss/tie OR
  • GB win + SEA loss/tie OR
  • GB tie + ARI loss OR
  • GB tie + LAR loss + ARI tie OR
  • GB tie + SEA win/tie + ARI tie

Playoffs can get get a little complicated at times.

Published by Benedetto Vitale

Shaping my career as a sports writer. Currently work for Clutchpoints, as well as several different sites. I'm all about sports, movies, and hip-hop.

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