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NFL Week 15 Playoff Scenarios - Denver Broncos Can't Clinch....Yet

The Denver Broncos are sitting atop the AFC West with three games to play. Despite being 8-5, and 1 game clear of the Oakland Raiders, the Broncos still cannot clinch a playoff spot this weekend. Why? Those pesky ties. Sure, the Broncos look good as long as they keep winning, but throw a tie into the equation and things get a bit nuts.

Then there is that game Week 17 against the Chiefs. That game is key for the Broncos because a win would give them a 4-2 record in the AFC West games. That is the first tie-breaker after head-to-head, important since the Broncos split their season series with the Raiders and Chargers. Divisional Record is what the Broncos have going for them, but a slip-up at the wrong time could be a disaster! Keep winning, however, and the Broncos are all set.

Below are the scenarios for Week 15 in the AFC:


The Texans have won the AFC South and clinched their first playoff birth in team history. At 10-3, they are trying to seal the deal on at least a First Round Bye.


The Patriots certainly have plenty to play for when the visit the Broncos on Sunday. They clinch the AFC East with:

1. A win over the Broncos


2. A tie, combined with a New York Jets loss or tie


3. A New York Jets loss

The Patriots can clinch at least a Wildcard spot with:

1. A tie


2. Cincinnati Bengals loss or tie AND Oakland Raiders loss or tie AND Tennessee Titans loss or tie


The Ravens face the San Diego Chargers on Sunday Night Football looking to clinch a playoff spot of their own. The Ravens can't clinch the AFC North, but they can punch their ticket to the playoffs with:

1. A win or tie


2. A Jets loss AND a Raiders loss or tie


3. A Jets loss AND a Titans loss or tie


4. A Raiders loss or tie AND a Titans loss or tie


The Steelers are still hoping the Ravens falter and Pittsburgh can still the division, and a bye, before the playoffs begin. If not, the Black and Gold are stuck in the 5-seed, looking at three road playoff games if they are going back to the Super Bowl. The Steelers - in San Francisco on Monday Night - can clinch a playoff spot with:

1. A Win or Tie


2. Raiders loss or tie


3. Titans loss or tie


4. Broncos loss or tie


5. Jets loss