With just three weeks left in the 2022 NFL regular season, the playoff picture is shaping up. More teams have claimed their spots in the NFC and AFC. However, the race to the playoffs continues as top teams in both conferences are still looking to lock in their spots for the postseason and have a chance to do so in Week 16.
The Buffalo Bills clinched their third consecutive AFC East title with a 35-13 win over the Chicago Bears on Saturday. The Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals are looking to make final pushes in their quests for the AFC North title. While that race is still undecided, the Ravens clinched a playoff berth with a win over the Atlanta Falcons and losses by the New England Patriots and New York Jets. Meanwhile, the New York Giants' quest for a playoff berth is still unresolved after a walk-off loss to the Minnesota Vikings. The Philadelphia Eagles couldn't wrap up the NFC East and the NFC's No. 1 seed, losing to the Dallas Cowboys.
The Los Angeles Chargers got some help in the form of losses by the Jets, Patriots and Raiders in Week 16, and took advantage with a rout of the Indianapolis Colts on Monday night to reach the playoffs.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 19-16 overtime win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday night moved them back to a one-game lead over the Carolina Panthers (6-9) and the New Orleans Saints (6-9). If the Buccaneers were to defeat the Panthers in Week 17, they would wrap up the NFC South title and lock up the No. 4 seed in the NFC and a first-round home game.
Here are the playoff-clinching scenarios for Week 16 as teams try to reach Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The playoffs begin Jan. 14, with 14 teams making the field, seven from each conference.
NFL playoff matchups as it stands
(7) Miami Dolphins at (2) Kansas City Chiefs
(6) Los Angeles Chargers at (3) Cincinnati Bengals
(5) Baltimore Ravens at (4) Jacksonville Jaguars
Wild-card-round bye: (1) Buffalo Bills
Teams that have clinched postseason berths: Bills (AFC East), Chiefs (AFC West), Bengals, Ravens, Chargers
(7) Washington Commanders at (2) Minnesota Vikings
(6) New York Giants at (3) San Francisco 49ers
(5) Dallas Cowboys at (4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Wild-card-round bye: (1) Philadelphia Eagles
Teams that have clinched postseason berths: Eagles, Cowboys, 49ers (NFC West), Vikings (NFC North)
Week 16 AFC playoff-clinching scenarios
Baltimore Ravens (10-5)
Result: Defeated the Atlanta Falcons 17-9 and clinched a playoff berth after losses by the New York Jets and New England Patriots.
Buffalo Bills (12-3)
Result: Defeated the Chicago Bears 35-13 to clinch the AFC East title.
Los Angeles Chargers (8-6)
Result: Defeated the Indianapolis Colts 20-3 to clinch a playoff berth.
Week 16 NFC playoff-clinching scenarios
New York Giants (8-6-1)
Result: Lost 27-24 to the Minnesota Vikings and can't clinch a playoff berth this week. The Giants can clinch a berth with a win over the Indianapolis Colts in Week 17.
Philadelphia Eagles (13-2)
Result: Lost to the Dallas Cowboys 40-34 and were unable to clinch the NFC East and the NFC's No. 1 seed.