Skip to main content

NFL Releases Playoff Scenarios Heading Into Final Week of Season

The final week of 2021 NFL regular season begins on Saturday with 18 teams still in contention for this year's postseason. Here’s a look at who’s in, who needs a win and who is out entering NFL Week 18. 

NFC (6 of 7 clinched): 

1. Packers — (13–3, clinched home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs)

2. Rams — (12–4, NFC West leader, clinched playoff berth, hold tiebreaker over the Buccaneers because of their head-to-head victory)

The Rams can clinch the NFC West title with a win or tie in their contest Sunday vs. the 49ers, or an Arizona loss or tie. Kickoff for Rams-49ers is set for 4:25 p.m. ET.

3. Buccaneers — (12-4, clinched NFC South)

4. Cowboys — (11–5, clinched NFC East)

5. Cardinals — (11–5, clinched playoff berth)

Arizona can clinch the NFC West division title with a win and a Rams loss.

6. 49ers — (9–7, hold tiebreaker over the Eagles because of their head-to-head victory)

The 49ers clinch a playoff berth with a win or tie in their own game, or a loss or tie by the Saints. San Francisco plays the Rams, while New Orleans plays the Falcons.

7. Eagles — (9—7, clinched playoff berth)

In the hunt: 

8. New Orleans Saints (8-8)

The Saints clinch a playoff berth with a win and a 49ers loss. The Saints travel to Atlanta and play the Falcons with kickoff set for 4:25 p.m. ET.

Scroll to Continue

SI Recommends

AFC (5 of 7 clinched)

1. Titans (11—5, clinched AFC South, hold tiebreaker over the Chiefs because of their head-to-head victory)

The Titans clinch the AFC's No. 1 seed, a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoff with a win over the Texans; or a tie and a Kansas City loss or tie; or a Kansas City loss or tie and a Bengals loss or tie and a Patriots loss or tie; or a Chiefs loss, Bengals loss or tie and Bills win.

2. Chiefs (11—5, clinched AFC West)

The Chiefs clinch the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win over the Broncos and a Titans loss or tie against the Texans, or a tie vs. the Broncos plus a Titans loss. Kickoff for their game vs. Denver is set for 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.

3. Bengals — (10—6, clinched AFC North, hold tiebreaker over the Bills because of better conference record)

The Bengals have clinched the AFC North title, but can clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a win over the Browns and a Titans loss and Chiefs loss and Patriots loss or tie, or from a win over the Browns and a Titans loss, Chiefs loss and Bills win.

Watch NFL games online all season long with fuboTV: Start with a 7-day free trial!

4. Bills — (10—6, AFC East leader, clinched playoff berth, hold tiebreaker over the Patriots because of better division record)

The Bills can clinch the AFC East title with a win over the Jets or a Patriots loss to the Dolphins or a tie in both games. Buffalo cannot be the No. 1 seed in the conference.

5. Patriots — (10–6, clinched playoff berth)

The Patriots can clinch the AFC East title with a win vs. the Dolphins and a Bills loss or tie, or with a tie vs. the Dolphins and a Bills loss. 

They can also clinch home-field and the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a win, and a Buffalo loss or tie, a Chiefs loss and a Titans loss. 

Kickoff for their game vs. Miami is set for 4:25 p.m. ET.

6. Colts — (9–7, hold tiebreaker over the Chargers because of better conference record)

The Colts clinch a playoff berth with a win or tie vs. the Jaguars; or with a Chargers loss and Ravens-Steelers tie or from a Chargers loss; Steelers loss and a Patriots loss.

7. Chargers (9—7, hold tiebreaker over the Raiders because of their head-to-head victory)

The Chargers will clinch a playoff berth with a win/tie against the Raiders. Kickoff is set for 8:20 p.m. ET.

In the hunt

8.  Raiders — (9—7)

The Raiders clinch a playoff berth on Sunday  with a win over the Chargers; or a tie plus a Colts loss to the Jaguars; or a Colts loss plus a Steelers loss or tie against the Ravens.

9. Steelers — (8-7-1)

The Steelers clinch a playoff spot with a win over the Ravens plus a Colts loss to the Jaguars and the Chargers-Raiders game not ending in a tie. Kickoff for Steelers-Ravens is set for 1 p.m. ET.

10. Ravens — (8–8)

Baltimore clinches a playoff berth with a win and losses by the Chargers and Colts and a Dolphins loss or tie.

More NFL Coverage:
Bengals and Titans Clinch Divisions As Playoff Field Takes Shape
How to Evaluate Trevor Lawrence's Disappointing Rookie Season
Never Forget the Role the Buccaneers Played in Enabling Antonio Brown

Sports Illustrated may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.