NFL Playoff Picture: How AFC and NFC contenders can clinch this week

QB Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys. (Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images)

The Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, and Buffalo Bills can all clinch a playoff spot in Week 15 of the NFL season. Here’s how they can do so.

We are entering Week 15 of the NFL season, and there is just one team that has already locked up a spot in the playoffs. That team is none other than the 12-1 Philadelphia Eagles, who blew out the New York Giants 48-22 last week to clinch their postseason berth.

In Week 15, there are five teams who can clinch a spot in the playoffs. One of them is the San Francisco 49ers, who can win the NFC West title with a win over the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday Night Football.

The remaining teams who can clinch a postseason berth are the Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, and Minnesota Vikings. Here’s how each can do so in Week 15.

Minnesota Vikings clinching scenarios

The Vikings have the opportunity lock up the NFC North title, their first since 2017. They can do so in two scenarios, courtesy of the NFL:

  1. Vikings win or tie vs. Indianapolis Colts or
  2. Detroit Lions loss vs. New York Jets

It’s as simple as that. The Lions are the lone threat to the Vikings for the division crown, even though they’re 6-7 on the season.

Dallas Cowboys clinching scenarios

The Cowboys had a scare last week against the Houston Texans, but managed to pull off the 27-23 victory on a drive at the end of the game. Now, they’re in position to clinch a playoff spot and even contend for the NFC East title. The title isn’t on the line, but a playoff spot is in Week 15.

Here’s what they need to happen:

  1. Cowboys win vs. Jacksonville Jaguars or
  2. Cowboys tie vs. Jaguars and New York Giants vs. Washington Commanders doesn’t end in a tie or
  3. Cowboys tie vs. Jaguars and Seahawks loss or tie vs. 49ers
  4. Seahawks loss vs. 49ers and Lions loss or tie vs. Jets
  5. Seahawks loss vs. 49ers and Commanders loss vs. Giants

Five scenarios for a playoff berth. Study them, Cowboys fans.

Denise T. Jones

Denise T. Jones is a passionate sports enthusiast with a knack for capturing the electrifying essence of the sporting world. As a dedicated sports news writer for, Denise brings her unparalleled love for sports and her adept storytelling skills to deliver captivating and insightful content to readers worldwide. With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of various sports disciplines, Denise ensures that her articles provide comprehensive coverage of the latest events, matches, and developments in the sports realm. Whether it's the thrill of the game-winning goal, the drama of a nail-biting finish, or the heartwarming stories of triumph against all odds, Denise encapsulates it all with eloquence and precision. Denise's journey in sports journalism has been marked by her unwavering commitment to accuracy, integrity, and excellence. Her ability to blend statistical analysis with compelling narratives sets her apart as a trusted voice in the industry. From the adrenaline-pumping action on the field to the strategic maneuvers off it, Denise brings every aspect of the sporting world to life through her writing. With a finger on the pulse of the sports scene, Denise T. Jones continues to inspire and inform readers with her dynamic and engaging sports coverage on

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