The NFL playoff picture could get some more certainty to it this weekend. The Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos and New England Patriots can all wrap up a division title under the right circumstances in Week 13. The Houston Texans can secure a playoff spot, but not the division title, not yet anyway.
Atlanta needs to beat or tie the Saints on Thursday night for starters A Tampa Bay loss to the Broncos, or a tie, would give the Falcons the AFC South crown. A Falcons win and a Seattle loss to the Bears, in Chicago, would lock down a playoff spot for the Falcons. If Atlanta tied, the team would need a Seattle loss as well as Minnesota loss to clinch a spot.
All the Broncos need to do is beat the Buccaneers, in Denver, to wrap up the AFC West, or . If the Broncos tied, a Chargers loss would still make Denver the division winner. A Chargers loss to the Bengals would also do it for Denver.
All the Patriots have to do to claim the team's usual spot on top of the AFC East is beat the Dolphins in Miami.
Baltimore can guarantee themselves a playoff spot with a win over the Steelers this week. The Ravens will win the AFC North with a victory over and a Bengals loss to the Chargers. Because ties aren't as far fetched as they used to be, the Ravens would need a Bengals loss and a Dolphins loss to clinch a playoff spot in the AFC if this week's game ends in a draw.
Houston, which owns the best record in the NFL, cannot bring home the AFC South crown yet because of those pesky Colts. Those two teams play twice in the final three weeks of the season. A win, or even a tie, would give the 10-1 Texans a playoff spot. If Houston cannot beat the Titans - stop laughing - the Texans can still clinch a postseason invitation with a Miami loss or tie and either a Pittsburgh or Cincinnati loss or tie. If the Bengals and Steelers both lose, the Texans can also clinch a spot in the playoffs.
|Clinch AFC North||Win plus Cincinnati Bengals loss|
|Clinch Postseason Berth||Win|
|Baltimore tie plus Bengals loss plus Dolphins loss or tie|
|Clinch Postseason Berth||Win (or)|
|Dolphins or tie and Steelers loss or tie (or)|
|Dolphins or tie and Bengals loss or tie(or)|
|Steelers and Bengals loss|
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
|Clinch AFC East||Win|
|Clinch AFC West||Win (or)|
|Broncos tie plus Chargers loss (or)|
|Clinch NFC South||Win plus Buccaneers loss or tie (or)|
|Falcons tie plus Buccaneers loss|
|Clinch Postseason Berth||Win plus Seahawks loss or tie (or)|
|Falcons tie plus Seahawks and Vikings loss|
H/t to Cincy Jungle for the table.