Statistically, there are still eight teams still alive for the final three available playoff spots. The Atlanta Falcons (12-2), San Francisco 49ers (10-3-1) and Green Bay Packers (10-4) have all either clinched their division or secured a playoff spot due to their season records. Five teams (Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions, Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers) have no chance at earning a playoff spot this season. Here’s a look at the various playoff scenarios for the teams still with something to play for at this stage of the season.
Matchup: at Detroit Lions
The Falcons can clinch a first-round bye with a win or tie, Green Bay loss or tie, or San Francisco loss. They can clinch home-field advantage through NFC playoffs with a win, a tie plus San Francisco loss or tie, or Green Bay loss or tie plus San Francisco loss.
San Francisco 49ers
Matchup: at Seattle Seahawks
The 49ers can clinch NFC West with a win. They can clinch first-round bye with a win and Green Bay loss or tie or a tie and Green Bay loss.
Green Bay Packers
Matchup: vs. Tennessee Titans
The Packers have clinched their division and are not in the position to clinch anything else in Week 16.
Matchup: at Philadelphia Eagles
The Redskins can clinch a playoff berth with a win plus a New York Giants loss plus a Chicago loss plus a Minnesota loss.
Matchup: vs. San Francisco 49ers
The Seahawks have eight different scenarios where they could clinch a playoff berth this week. If they defeat the 49ers, they will clinch a playoff spot. They can also clinch a spot with a tie or loss depending on a combination of losses by the New York Giants, Chicago, Minnesota, Washington and Dallas.
Matchup: at Houston Texans
The Vikings are currently the No. 6 seed in the NFC and share the same record as Chicago, Dallas and the New York Giants. They are not in a position to clinch anything in Week 16.
Matchup: at Arizona Cardinals
The Bears can be eliminated from playoff contention this week if they lose against the Cardinals plus a win by the Vikings.
Matchup: vs. New Orleans Saints
The Cowboys are currently have the eighth-best record in the NFC and are not in a position to clinch a playoff spot or become eliminated from playoff contention in Week 16.
New York Giants
Matchup: at Baltimore Ravens
The Giants can clinch a playoff berth with a win and a combination of losses by Chicago, Minnesota, Dallas and Washington. The Giants can be eliminated from playoff contention with a loss and wins by Washington, Dallas and Seattle (win or tie).
St. Louis Rams
Matchup: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Rams are currently have the tenth-best record in the NFC and are not in a position to clinch a playoff spot in Week 16.
New Orleans Saints
Matchup: at Dallas Cowboys
The Saints are currently have the eleventh-best record in the NFC and are not in a position to clinch a playoff spot in Week 16.
2012 NFL Playoff Picture, CBSSports.com
NFL Playoff Picture Scenarios — Week 16, CBSSports.com
Austin Chang is a lifelong football fan and a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @_austinchang.