Who can clinch an NFL playoff spot this weekend?
The GIST: It’s the most wonderful time of the year: the first weekend of Saturday and Sunday NFL games. That’s right, there’s plenty of good cheer to be had with possible playoff-clinching football on deck.
The current playoff picture: With just four regular-season weeks remaining, only the San Francisco 49ers have clinched one of the 14 playoff spots — seven from the American Football Conference (AFC) and seven from the National Football Conference (NFC).
- For context, four teams had booked postseason berths by this time last year, making this sprint to January 7th’s regular-season finale all the more intriguing.
Who can clinch: Three teams in the NFC — the Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, and Philadelphia Eagles — can get ’er done this week, while the Baltimore Ravens are the lone AFC squad with a chance to clinch.
- Of the four, the Cowboys have the clearest path. If MVP favorite quarterback (QB) Dak Prescott can beat the also playoff-contending Buffalo Bills Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET, America’s Team will book their ticket. Simple as that.
- The other hopefuls will need some help, and the cascade effect starts with tomorrow’s 8:15 p.m. ET meeting between the Denver Broncos and Detroit Lions.
- A Lions win not only increases their probability to clinch, but also gives Baltimore a better chance to earn their spot when they face the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday at 8:20 p.m. ET. Here’s a live look at us trying to keep it all straight.