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An NFL team can clinch a playoff spot by winning enough games so that, after all tiebreakers are accounted for, they will be ahead of anyone who could possibly get at least a wildcard spot.

Examples being:

If New England were to beat Miami this week (Week 13, 2012), New England would clinch the division, and thus a playoff spot. This is because it would give the New England a 9-3 record, and Miami a 5-7. If New England were to lose the rest of their four games after and finish 9-7, and Miami won the rest of their 4 games to finish 9-7, New England would hold a 5-1 record in the division to Miami's 3-3, thus winning the tiebreaker and taking the division. So a New England win would clinch the AFC East Division title and a playoff spot.

Baltimore can clinch a wild card spot this week with a win over Pittsburgh. This is because it would give the Ravens a good enough record and a hold over the tiebreakers so that, even if they were to lose the rest of their games, they would finish with at least the second best record out of all non-division winners, thus clinching at least a wild-card spot in the playoffs.

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โˆ™ 2012-11-30 22:53:23
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Q: How can an NFL playoff spot be clinched?
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