NFL playoff scenarios 2022: Cowboys, Bills among 5 teams with clinch scenarios in Week 15

What teams will make the NFL playoffs in 2022? As we hit December in the National Football League, the intensity is picking up. From this week forward, we have NFL playoff scenarios to monitor.

Because it’s early in the season and there is significant parity in the NFL standings, very few teams are facing a win-and-in scenario this early. Heading into Sunday’s matchup, only two clubs face NFL playoff-clinching scenarios.

Bookmark this page for weekly updates on the NFL playoff scenarios 2022, including an NFL playoff picture for the NFC and AFC.

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NFC playoff picture

NFL: NFC Wild Card Playoffs-Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams
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Entering Week 15, three teams in the NFC enter with a variety of NFL playoff-clinching scenarios. The playoff races are tightening, meaning there will be more clubs punching their ticket to the NFL Playoffs in the next few weeks.

NFL teams who clinched a playoff spot

  • Philadelphia Eagles – The Philadelphia Eagles clinched a playoff spot in the NFC by winning in Week 14. They are still fighting to win the NFC East.

NFL playoff-clinching scenarios Week 15 – NFC

Minnesota Vikings

  • Week 15 opponent – Indianapolis Colts

The Vikings had a golden opportunity to clinch the NFC North on Sunday, but they lost to the Detroit Lions. Still holding a huge lead in the division, Minnesota gets its second chance on Sunday.

  • Scenario 1.) Vikings win
  • Scenario 2.) Lions lose (vs New York Jets)

San Francisco 49ers

  • Week 15 opponent: Seattle Seahawks

Following a Seattle Seahawks’ loss in Week 14 and a San Francisco 49ers victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco faces one of the easiest NFL playoff scenarios in Week 15.

  • Scenario 1.) 49ers win

Dallas Cowboys

  • Week 15 opponent: Jacksonville Jaguars

While the Cowboys’ odds of winning the NFC East are fading fast, they can clinch a playoff spot on Sunday. Here are the NFL playoff-clinching scenarios for Dallas in Week 15.

  • Scenario 1.) Cowboys win
  • Scenario 2.) Cowboys tie +New York Giants loss (vs WAS)
  • Scenario 3.) Cowboys tie + Washington Commanders loss (vs NYG)
  • Scenario 4.) Cowboys tie + Seattle Seahawks loss/tie
  • Scenario 5.) Seahawks loss + Commanders loss

Entering Week 15, these seven NFC teams would make the playoffs.

  1. Philadelphia Eagles, NFC East – BYE
  2. Minnesota Vikings, NFC North – Host No. 7 seed
  3. San Francisco 49ers, NFC West – Host No. 6 seed
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, NFC South – Host No. 5 seed
  5. Dallas Cowboys, Wild Card 1 – Road team vs No. 4 seed
  6. Washington Commanders, Wild Card 2 (7-5-1) – Road team vs No. 5 seed
    • Tiebreaker over New York Giants because of win percentage in division games
  7. New York Giants, Wild Card 3 (7-5-1) – Road team vs No. 2 seed

NFC playoff hunt

  • Seattle Seahawks – 7-6
  • Detroit Lions – 6-7
  • Green Bay Packers -5-8

All NFL playoff scenarios come directly from the league office.

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AFC – NFL playoff-clinching scenarios

NFL: AFC Championship-Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into Week 15, there are two AFC teams with NFL playoff scenarios. In the case of the Kansas City Chiefs, there are two different playoff spots at stake for them.

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Week 15 opponent: Houston Texans

Kansas City secured the first step of its clinching scenario in Week 14 by defeating the Denver Broncos. However, the Los Angeles Charges’ victory on Sunday Night Football meant Andy Reid and Co. had to wait another week. Fortunately, they have a few ways to earn a postseason spot.

Clinch AFC West

  • Scenario 1.) Chiefs win
  • Scenario 2.) Chiefs tie + Chargers tie (vs TEN)
  • Scenario 3.) Chargers loss (vs TEN)

Clinch playoff spot

  • Scenario 1.) Chiefs tie + New York Jets loss (vs DET) + New England Patriots loss (vs LV)
  • Scenario 2.) Chiefs tie + Jets loss + Patriots tie + Miami Dolphins loss (vs BUF)
  • Scenario 3.) Chiefs tie + Jets tie + Patriots loss + Dolphins loss

Buffalo Bills

  • Week 15 opponent: Miami Dolphins (Saturday)

After winning in Week 14, the Bills will head into their pivotal matchup against the Miami Dolphins with a shot at securing a playoff spot.

  • Scenario 1.) Bills win
  • Scenario 2.) Bills tie + Chargers loss (vs TEN)
  • Scenario 3.) Bills tie + Patriots loss (vs LV) + Jets loss (vs DET)
  • Scenario 4.) Bills tie + Chargers tie (vs TEN) + Patriots tie + Jets loss

Entering Week 15, these seven AFC teams would make the playoffs.

  1. Buffalo Bills, AFC East – BYE
    • Hold head-to-head tiebreaker over Kansas City
  2. Kansas City Chiefs, AFC West – Host No. 7 seed
  3. Baltimore Ravens, AFC North – Host. No. 6 seed
    • Controls tie break over Cincinnati Bengals based on the head-to-head result.
  4. Tennessee Titans, AFC South – Host. No. 5 seed
  5. Cincinnati Bengals, Wild Card 1 – Road team vs No. 4 seed
    • Tiebreaker over Miami Dolphins based on head-to-head result
  6. Miami Dolphins, Wild Card 2 – Road team vs No. 5 seed
  7. New England Patriots, Wild Card 3 – Road team vs No. 2 seed
    • Tiebreaker over Chargers due to win percentage in conference games
    • Tiebreaker over Jets due to head-to-head record

AFC playoff picture

  • Los Angeles Chargers – (7-6)
    • Chargers own tiebreaker over New York based on win percentage in conference games
  • New York Jets – (7-6)
  • Jacksonville Jaguars – (5-8)
  • Las Vegas Raiders – (5-8)

This article was originally published on and is republished here with permission.

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