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Playoff picture

Updated: December 18, 2008, 11:20 PM ET

If the NFL season were to end today, the playoff picture would look like this:

AFC
Wild-card weekend
6. Baltimore Ravens (9-5) at 3. New York Jets (9-5)
Giants Stadium
5. Indianapolis Colts (11-4) at 4. Denver Broncos (8-6)
Invesco Field at Mile High
Byes: 1. Tennessee Titans (12-2), 2. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3)

NFC

Wild-card weekend
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-5) at 3. Minnesota Vikings (9-5)
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
5. Dallas Cowboys (9-5) at 4. Arizona Cardinals (8-6)
University of Phoenix Stadium
Byes: 1. New York Giants (11-3), 2. Carolina Panthers (11-3)

Week 16 scenarios

NFC

CLINCHED: New York Giants, NFC East; Arizona, NFC West

ELIMINATED: Detroit, St. Louis, San Francisco, Seattle, Green Bay, New Orleans

New York Giants
The Giants clinch a first-round bye with:

1) A victory over Carolina OR
2) Minnesota loss or tie

The Giants clinch home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with a victory over Carolina.

Carolina Panthers
The Panthers clinch the NFC South title with:

1) A victory over the N.Y. Giants or tie OR
2) Tampa Bay loss or tie and Atlanta loss or tie

Carolina clinches a first-round bye with a victory over the N.Y. Giants or tie. It clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with a victory.

Carolina clinches a playoff spot with:

1) Dallas loss or tie OR
2) Atlanta loss or tie OR
3) Tampa Bay loss or tie

Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings clinch the NFC North title with:

1) A victory over Atlanta OR
2) A tie with Atlanta and Chicago loss or tie OR
3) Chicago loss

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs clinch a playoff spot with:

1) A victory over San Diego and Atlanta loss and PhiladelphiaI loss or tie OR
2) A victory over San Diego and Atlanta loss and Dallas loss or tie

Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys clinch a playoff spot with:

1) A victory over Baltimore and Philadelphia loss or tie and Chicago loss or tie and Atlanta loss OR
2) A victory over Baltimore and Philadelphia loss or tie and Chicago loss or tie and Tampa Bay loss OR
3) A victory over Baltimore and Chicago loss or tie and Tampa Bay loss and Atlanta loss OR
4) A victory over Baltimore and Philadelphia loss or tie and Atlanta loss and Dallas clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over Chicago

Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons clinch a playoff spot with:

1) A victory over Minnesota and Tampa Bay loss and Dallas loss OR
2) A victory over Minnesota and Tampa Bay loss and Dallas tie and Philadelphia loss OR
3) A victory over Minnesota and Tampa Bay loss and Philadelphia loss and Chicago loss or tie OR
4) A victory over Minnesota and Tampa Bay loss and Philadelphia loss and Dallas clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over Chicago

AFC

CLINCHED: Tennessee, AFC South and first-round bye; Pittsburgh, AFC North and first-round bye; Indianapolis, wild card and No. 5 seeding

ELIMINATED: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Houston, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Oakland, Buffalo

Tennessee Titans
The Titans clinch home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with a victory over Pittsburgh.

Denver Broncos
The Broncos clinch the AFC West title with:

1) A victory over Buffalo or tie OR
2) San Diego loss or tie

Playoff dates

Jan. 3, 2009: AFC, NFC wild-card games (NBC)

Jan. 4, 2009: AFC wild-card game (CBS); NFC wild-card game (FOX)

Jan. 10, 2009: AFC divisional playoff game (CBS); NFC divisional playoff game (FOX)

Jan. 11, 2009: AFC divisional playoff game (CBS); NFC divisional playoff game (FOX)

Jan. 18, 2009: AFC Championship Game (CBS); NFC Championship Game (FOX)

Feb. 1: Super Bowl XLIII at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.


Related Topics: NFL