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NFL teams to clinch playoff spot: Updated 2022 playoff bracket for Eagles, 49ers & more in Week 15

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The NFL season continues to wind closer to the end of the year, and the playoff picture is starting to become more clear.

Before the start of the weekend, six teams had already reached double-digit win totals. Three more had ensured they would at least finish the season with winning records. 

Still, with several games left, the list of teams that have clinched a playoff spot is low. There are certainly a few teams that haven’t officially punched their ticket, but that feel inevitable to officially reach the postseason before long, and, in fact, there are several who can clinch a spot in Week 15.

So which teams are in, and which teams are on the cusp? Here’s a look at the teams this week that are already in the playoffs.

NFL teams to clinch playoff spot

Before the 49ers played the Seahawks on “Thursday Night Football,” only one team had officially pocketed an invitation to the NFL playoffs, and that was the Eagles.

Entering the week at 12-1, Philadelphia had already sealed its spot in the playoffs. No team that began a season at 12-1 has ever missed the playoffs, per Stathead.

Despite that sterling record, the Eagles still have work before clinching the NFC East. At 10-3, the Cowboys aren’t far behind and still at least have a chance of winning the division. Philadelphia will have its first chance to clinch the division in Week 16, when it plays Dallas, where a win would deliver the division crown.

But the Eagles are no longer alone. The 49ers clinched the NFC West in defeating the Seahawks 21-13 to start the week. It marked San Francisco’s first division title since 2019 and third since 2011. Each of the past two times the 49ers have won the NFC West, they have gone on to the Super Bowl.

Who could clinch a playoff spot in Week 15?

There are two AFC teams that can clinch a playoff berth in Week 15. The Bills can punch their ticket in Week 15, with the easiest path being simply to win, though a tie works if several other teams lose or tie. The Chiefs can win the AFC West with a win, Chargers loss or tie from both teams, or earn their playoff spot with a tie and a number of other things to happen.

Two NFC teams have a chance to earn playoff spots. A Cowboys win or tie is the simplest path to Dallas’ official place in the playoffs being locked down, but there are several other avenues that could get it done with a tie, or if either the Lions lose or tire, or the Commanders lose. There’s not a lot of overly complicated paths for the Vikings. If Minnesota wins or ties the Colts, it wins the NFC North. If the Lions lose to or tie the Jets, the Vikings win the North.


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