NFL playoff scenarios and schedule for Week 18

Week 18 of the 2021 NFL season is upon us. The playoff picture is quite a bit clearer than it was even one week ago — with a number of spots clinched in Week 17 — but there are many questions to be answered as the postseason bracket is filled up.

In the NFC, six teams have already clinched spots, including the Packers (the No. 1 seed) and division champion Buccaneers and Cowboys. The NFC West title remains up for grabs, as does the last wild-card spot, with two clubs looking to clinch.

Over in the AFC, the Titans, Chiefs and Bengals have clinched their respective divisions, while the Bills and Patriots look to grab the AFC East title. Four teams remain in play for the No. 1 seed, with five others vying for the remaining two wild-card spots.

There’s still a lot to play for, starting with two Saturday games and ending Sunday night with a win-and-you’re-in game between the Chargers and Raiders. Here’s the full Week 18 schedule, along with the clinching scenarios for the teams still in the hunt.



4:30 p.m. ET

Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos (ESPN, ABC, ESPN+)

8:15 p.m. ET

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (ESPN, ABC, ESPN+)


1 p.m. ET

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions
Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings
Washington Football Team at New York Giants
Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans

4:25 p.m. ET

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills
San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

8:20 p.m. ET

Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders



Six teams have already clinched playoff berths: GB, LAR, TB, DAL, ARI and PHI

(1) Packers: First-round bye
(7) Eagles at (2) Rams
(6) 49ers at (3) Buccaneers
(5) Cardinals at (4) Cowboys


Five teams have already clinched playoff berths: TEN, KC, CIN, BUF and NE

(1) Titans: First-round bye
(7) Chargers at (2) Chiefs
(6) Colts at (3) Bengals
(5) Patriots at (4) Bills


For many teams, it is a good thing there is one more week of the season. Some are looking to squeeze into the playoffs as others try to gain positioning and clinch their division. Here are the clinching scenarios:

Race for NFC playoff spots

Saints clinch with win and 49ers loss

  • 49ers clinch with win or Saints loss

  • Race for NFC West title

    1. Cardinals clinch NFC West with win and Rams loss

    2. Rams clinch NFC West with win or Cardinals loss

    Race for AFC playoff berths

    Ravens clinch with

    Win and Colts loss and Chargers loss and Dolphins loss

    Colts clinch with:

    Win or

  • Steelers loss and Chargers loss and Dolphins win

  • Raiders clinch with:

    Win or

  • Tie and Colts loss or

  • Colts loss and Steelers loss

  • Chargers clinch with:

    Win or

  • Tie

  • Steelers clinch with:

    Win and Colts loss and Chargers-Raiders doesn’t end in tie

    Orlovsky: Colts the team ‘best-built’ to beat the Chiefs

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    Race for AFC No. 1 seed (and first-round bye)

    Titans clinch with:

    Win or

  • Chiefs loss and Bengals loss and Patriots loss or

  • Chiefs loss and Bengals loss and Bills win

  • Chiefs clinch with:

    Win and Titans loss

    Bengals clinch with:

    Win and Titans loss and Chiefs loss and Patriots loss or

  • Win and Titans loss and Chiefs loss and Bills win

  • Patriots clinch with:

    Race for AFC East title

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