NFL Playoff clinching and elimination scenarios for Week 15

Which teams can clinch a playoff spot and which teams can be eliminated this week?

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson / Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports
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The 2023 NFL playoff picture is coming together with only four weekends left in the regular season.

Only one team has clinched the playoffs so far but Week 15 could put even more teams firmly into the postseason. On the other side of the spectrum, some may be a loss away from guaranteeing their season will end after Jan. 7. More than a few coaches could see their employment end if that happens.

Let's look at the current playoff standings, clinching scenarios and elimination situations for Week 15.

AFC playoff standings

  1. Ravens
  2. Dolphins
  3. Chiefs
  4. Jaguars
  5. Browns
  6. Steelers
  7. Colts
  8. Texans

Left out: 9. Broncos, 10. Bengals, 11. Bills, 12. Raiders, 13. Jets, 14. Titans, 15. Chargers

Eliminated: Patriots

Who can clinch a playoff berth in the AFC in Week 15?

The Ravens are the only team going into Week 15 with a chance to clinch a playoff berth. The rest of the conference will have to wait.

How the Ravens can clinch a playoff spot in Week 15

  1. BAL win + DEN loss or tie + BUF loss or tie OR
  2. BAL win + DEN loss or tie + CLE loss or tie OR
  3. BAL win + DEN loss or tie + PIT loss or tie OR
  4. BAL win + DEN loss or tie + HOU loss or tie OR
  5. BAL win + BUF loss or tie + CLE loss or tie OR
  6. BAL win + BUF loss or tie + PIT loss or tie OR
  7. BAL win + BUF loss or tie + HOU loss or tie OR
  8. BAL win + CLE loss or tie + PIT-IND tie OR
  9. BAL win + HOU loss or tie + PIT-IND tie

The Ravens don't control their fate alone. A win will put them one step closer to clinching but they need the Broncos or Bills to lose along with a few other results. Fans in Baltimore have to pay attention to the rest of the NFL slate along with their own game against the Jaguars.

UPDATE: Losses for the Broncos and Steelers on Saturday mean the Ravens will clinch a playoff spot with a win over Jacksonville.

Next let's look at NFC playoff-clinching scenarios, which will be much more active this week...