NFL Playoffs 2023: Deciding Week 18 scenarios, tiebreakers for contenders, including Bills, Bengals changes

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After 17 weeks of football, the 2022 NFL season comes to a close. So, which teams are still officially fighting for playoff spots going into Week 18? And how do they each clinch a trip to the postseason? We are so glad you asked. Below, you’ll find an updated summary of all the recent deciding scenarios for the remaining Open Qualifier spots.

The NFL decided Thursday night to cancel the Bills-Bengals game, which was originally postponed Monday night after Damar Hamlin. He went into cardiac arrest in the field. This means that Cincinnati and Buffalo will only play 16 games this season while all other teams will play 17.

There may be a neutral site AFC title game, which will only happen based on these scenarios:

  • The participating teams have played a different number of regular season games.
  • It would have been the AFC’s No. 1 seeded tournament game seed team if all AFC clubs played a 17-game regular season.

Scenarios for the Asian Football Confederation

Top three seeds

heads (can be number 1 or 2 stubs):

  • Clinch the No. 1 seed with a win at Raiders OR LOSS OF BILLING VS. Patriots
  • If the Chiefs and Bills both win this weekend and end up meeting in the AFC Championship, the game will be played at a neutral site.
  • If the Chiefs, Bills, and Bengals all lose this weekend, the Bills/Chiefs AFC Championship will be played at a neutral site.
  • If the Chiefs lose and the Bills win, Buffalo will be the top seed and Kansas City will be the second seed – and there will be no possibility of an AFC Championship Game appearance at a neutral site
  • If the Chiefs and Bills lose and the Bengals win – it will be the Bills/Chiefs AFC Championship or the Bengals/Chiefs Championship at a neutral site.
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Bills (can be number 1, 2 or 3 seeds):

  • First Round Decision Bye and home court advantage during AFC Qualifiers with Chiefs win and lose (Neutral site AFC Championship will not play a role in this scenario.
  • It will be Champion 2 with a win and the Chiefs win, or a loss and the Bengals lose (if the Bills win and the Chiefs win, and they meet in the AFC Championship, it will be played at a neutral site).
  • She’d be the third seed with a loss and the Bengals winning (Cincinnati would get the second seed in this scenario because they’ve already settled on the strength of a tiebreaker victory).
  • If the Chiefs, Bills, and Bengals all lose this weekend, the Bills/Chiefs AFC Championship will be played at a neutral site.

Bengals (AFC North harvest, could be a second or third seed):

  • Deciding the No. 2 seed with a Bills win and loss (Cincinnati would get the No. 2 seed in this scenario because they’ve already clinched on the strength of a tiebreaker victory).
  • The No. 3 seed will either lose or the Bills win.
  • If the Bengals lose and are matched against the Ravens in the AFC Wild Card round, the coin toss will determine home court advantage. The specific scenario for this to happen is for the Bengals to lose at home to the Ravens and for the Chargers to win at the Broncos.
  • If the Chiefs and Bills lose and the Bengals win – it will be the Bills/Chiefs AFC Championship or the Bengals/Chiefs Championship at a neutral site.

South Asian title

  • Jaguar (8-8) clinch with: win/draw vs. titans
  • Titans (7-9) clinch with: win over Jaguar
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No. 7 Wild Card Seed

  • Patriots (8-8) clinch with: Win the Bills OR dolphins loss vs Planes And Steelers loss vs Brown And Jaguars win against the Titans
  • Dolphins (8-8) clinch with: A win vs. a loss for the Jets and the Patriots at the Bills
  • Steelers (8-8) clinch withBrowns and Dolphins win vs. Jets and Patriots lose in Bills
  • Jaguar leads (8-8) with: Loss to the Titans and losses to the Dolphins, Patriots and Steelers

NFC scenarios

No. 1 seed (bye + home field advantage)

the Eagles extracted from any of the following:

49ers with any of the following:

  • Win vs. Cardinals + Lost Eagles vs. Giants

Cowboy clinch with any of the following:

  • W-Loss Leaders + Eagles vs. Giants + 49 Loss/Tie vs. Cardinals

NFC East address

  • The Eagles (13-3) clinch with: Win versus the Giants or lose to the Cowboys in the Leaders
  • Cowboys (12-4) clinch with: Win at Loss Leaders and Eagles vs. Giants

No. 7 Wild Card Seed

  • Packers (8-8) extracted by: win vs black
  • Lions win (8-8) with: Win the Packers AND Seahawks loss / tie vs. ramsor a tie versus a loss by the Packers and Seahawks versus the Rams, or a tie versus a tie between the Belts and the Rams-Seahawks and the Chiefs win against the Cowboys
  • The Seahawks (8-8) clinch with: Rams win vs. Packers loss/tie vs. Lions, or tie vs. Rams and Packers loss/tie vs. Cowboys Chiefs lose/tie

For a complete look at playoff standings, scenarios, and projected first-round playoffs across the entire NFL, check out our updated postseason predictions. here.

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