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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NFC playoff standings

  1. 49ers - clinched playoffs
  2. Cowboys
  3. Lions
  4. Buccaneers
  5. Eagles
  6. Vikings
  7. Packers
  8. Rams

Left out: 9. Seahawks, 10. Falcons, 11. Saints, 12. Giants, 13. Bears, 14. Commanders, 15. Cardinals

Eliminated: Panthers

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

The Cowboys, Eagles and Lions are each hoping to clinch a spot in the playoffs this week while the 49ers, who have already clinched a playoff berth, can clinch the NFC West.

How the Cowboys can clinch a playoff spot in Week 15

  1. DAL win or tie OR
  2. LAR loss or tie + SEA loss or tie OR
  3. GB loss + LAR loss or tie + ATL loss or tie OR
  4. GB loss + ATL loss or tie + SEA loss or tie OR
  5. GB loss + ATL loss or tie + DET win or tie OR
  6. TB loss + MIN loss or tie + LAR loss or tie OR
  7. TB loss + MIN loss or tie + SEA loss or tie OR
  8. TB loss + MIN loss or tie + DET win or tie OR
  9. TB loss + SF win or tie + DET win or tie OR
  10. TB loss + DET win or tie + LAR loss or tie OR
  11. TB-GB tie + LAR loss or tie OR
  12. TB-GB tie + SEA loss or tie OR
  13. TB-GB tie + DET win or tie OR
  14. SEA loss or tie + MIN loss + DAL clinches strength-of-victory tiebreaker over ATL

It's simple, the Cowboys win and they're locked in. But if Dallas does fall to the Bills on Sunday, they can still clinch their place if the Rams and Seahawks fail to win. There are a dozen other scenarios that can get it done for Mike McCarthy and company.

UPDATE: The Lions' win and the Vikings' loss on Saturday means the Cowboys will clinch with a win or a Buccaneers loss.

How the Eagles can clinch a playoff spot in Week 15

  1. PHI win or tie OR
  2. GB loss + ATL loss or tie + LAR loss or tie OR
  3. GB loss + ATL loss or tie + SF win or tie + DET win OR
  4. TB loss + MIN loss or tie + LAR loss or tie OR
  5. TB loss + MIN loss or tie + SF win or tie + DET win OR
  6. MIN loss or tie + ATL loss or tie + LAR loss or tie OR
  7. MIN loss or tie + ATL loss or tie + SF win or tie + DET win OR
  8. TB-GB tie + LAR loss or tie OR
  9. TB-GB tie + SF win or tie + DET win

The Eagles are also facing a win-and-in scenario as they take on the Seahawks on Monday Night Football. They'll know going into that game whether they have to win to clinch with results for the Packers, Bucs, Falcons, Rams, 49ers and Lions playing a role.

How the Lions can clinch a playoff spot in Week 15

  1. DET win + SEA loss or tie + GB loss or tie OR
  2. DET win + SEA loss or tie + MIN loss or tie OR
  3. DET win + SEA loss or tie + LAR loss or tie OR
  4. DET win + LAR loss or tie + MIN loss or tie + TB loss OR
  5. DET win + LAR loss or tie + ATL loss or tie + GB loss OR
  6. DET win + LAR loss or tie + MIN loss or tie + ATL loss or tie OR
  7. DET win + GB-TB tie + LAR loss or tie OR
  8. DET tie + TB loss + SEA loss + LAR loss OR
  9. DET tie + GB loss + SEA loss + LAR loss OR
  10. DET tie + LAR loss + SEA loss + ATL loss OR
  11. DET tie + GB loss + SEA loss + ATL loss or tie OR
  12. DET tie + MIN loss + SEA loss + LAR loss OR
  13. DET tie + GB loss + LAR loss + ATL loss or tie + NO loss or tie OR
  14. DET tie + GB-TB tie + MIN loss + SEA loss + LAR tie OR
  15. DET tie + GB-TB tie + MIN loss + SEA loss + ATL loss or tie OR
  16. DET tie + GB-TB tie + MIN loss + LAR loss + ATL loss or tie

The Lions need to avoid a loss and pick up some help from elsewhere in the NFL to clinch their spot. The permutations are many but the simplest road would seem to be the Seahawks failing to win along with a loss or tie for the Packers, Vikings or Rams.

UPDATE: The Lions win over the Broncos and Minnesota's loss to the Bengals on Saturday means the Detroit can clinch with a Seahawks loss or tie to the Eagles.

How the 49ers can clinch the NFC West in Week 15

  1. SF win or tie OR
  2. LAR loss or tie

Here's a simple scenario: If the 49ers beat or tie the Cardinals they win the NFC West. If they lose, all it takes is a loss or tie by the Rams against the Commanders.

What about the teams on the brink of elimination?