NFL playoff scenarios

  • Updated: December 22, 2012 - 11:02 PM

A look at how the playoff race is shaping up:


Julio Jones and the Falcons clinched home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

Photo: Rick Osentoski, ASSOCIATED PRESS

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The Vikings (8-6) can't clinch a wild-card playoff spot Sunday, nor can they be eliminated from the playoffs. With final games at Houston (12-2) and against Green Bay (10-4), the Vikings have the NFL's toughest closing schedule.

• Vikings would win tiebreaker with Chicago because of a better division record.

• Vikings would lose tiebreaker with Washington or Seattle based on head-to-head meetings.

• Vikings' chances probably hinge on what happens in NFC East, where three teams are 8-6.

• Washington and Dallas play each other in Week 17, so either team would claim the East title by winning out.

• Giants can earn at least a wild-card spot by winning out. If Vikings and Giants both go 10-6, Giants would win the tiebreaker (better record in conference games).

• Vikings could make playoffs if they lose Sunday, then beat Green Bay if: Washington wins NFC East; Dallas and Chicago lose at least once; Giants lose twice.



They're in: Green Bay (North champ), Atlanta (South champ), San Francisco (at least a wild card) have clinched three of six playoff berths.

Atlanta (13-2) clinched top seed and first-round bye with its victory over Detroit on Saturday.

San Francisco (10-3-1) can clinch West with a win. Can clinch first-round bye with win and G.B. loss.

Washington (8-6) can clinch playoff spot with a win and losses by the Giants, Chicago, Vikings.

Seattle (9-5) can clinch playoff spot with a win; or if Vikings, Chicago and Washington all lose; or if Vikings, Chicago and Dallas lose.

N.Y. Giants (8-6) can clinch playoff spot with win, and losses by Chicago, Vikings, Dallas, Washington.

Dallas (8-6) can neither clinch a playoff spot nor be eliminated.

St. Louis (6-7-1), Chicago (8-6) and New Orleans (6-8) could be eliminated.


They're in: New England (East champ), Denver (West champ), Houston (South champ), Baltimore (at least a wild card) have clinched four of six playoff berths.

Houston (12-2) can clinch first-round bye with a win, or losses by either New England or Denver.

Denver (11-3) can clinch first-round bye with a win and a New England loss.

Indianapolis (9-5) can clinch playoff spot with a win or a Pittsburgh loss.

Cincinnati (8-6) can clinch playoff spot with a win.

Pittsburgh (7-7) and Miami (6-8) could be eliminated.

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Cincinnati 4 Top 7th Inning
Pittsburgh 1
Miami 2 Bottom 4th Inning
Washington 1
NY Yankees 5 Top 6th Inning
Toronto 0
Philadelphia 0 Bottom 7th Inning
Atlanta 6
Baltimore 0 Top 7th Inning
NY Mets 3
Tampa Bay 0 Bottom 6th Inning
Boston 0
Los Angeles 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
Milwaukee 0
Cleveland 2 Top 3rd Inning
Kansas City 3
Detroit 2 Top 3rd Inning
Chicago WSox 1
Oakland 1 Top 3rd Inning
Minnesota 0
Texas 4 Bottom 2nd Inning
Houston 1
Chicago Cubs 0 Top 2nd Inning
St. Louis 0
Arizona 0 Postponed
Colorado 0
Seattle - J. Paxton 9:05 PM
LA Angels - G. Richards
San Diego - A. Cashner 9:15 PM
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong
Washington 37 2nd Qtr 3:31
Atlanta 43
Memphis 9:30 PM
Golden State
Chicago 1 2nd Prd
Minnesota 0
Anaheim 8:30 PM
San Jose 0 1st Half 35:00
Houston 0
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