NFL playoff scenarios: Who's in and who's out heading into Week 18?

If you're a team like the New York Giants heading into Week 18, you're lucky.

The Giants are the No. 6 seed in the NFC. Their playoff spot is clinched and their seed can't move up or down. Relatively speaking, it's a low-stress week before the pressure of the playoffs starts.

Other teams have way more uncertainty. There's a lot to be determined in the final week of the NFL season, and let's break down the clinching scenarios.

NFC East still not settled

The Philadelphia Eagles' second straight loss means the Dallas Cowboys are still alive for the NFC East title and the No. 1 seed. The Eagles face the Giants, with nothing to play for, in the finale. The Eagles are NFC East champs and the No. 1 seed if they win. They also clinch the division if the Cowboys lose to the Washington Commanders.

The San Francisco 49ers are suddenly alive for the No. 1 seed. If the 49ers defeat the visiting Arizona Cardinals and the Eagles lose, the 49ers are the top seed. If the Eagles and 49ers lose and the Cowboys win, Dallas will be the top seed and get the bye. If the Cowboys and 49ers lose, the Eagles are the No. 1 seed.

If the Eagles beat the Giants, the NFC playoff picture is pretty clean. If the Eagles lose, there are a lot of moving parts to figure out.

Darius Slay and the Philadelphia Eagles can clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC with a win over the Giants. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Darius Slay and the Philadelphia Eagles can clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC with a win over the Giants. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Most NFC seeds up for grabs

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the No. 4 seed. The Giants are No. 6. That's all that's locked up.

The Eagles, 49ers, Cowboys and Vikings could still be the No. 2 seed. The 49ers are the most probable No. 2 seed. They get it if they win and the Eagles win too. An Eagles loss opens up the possibility of the Cowboys or Philly being the No. 2 seed. The Vikings would get the No. 2 seed if the 49ers lose and they defeat Chicago.

The Eagles or Cowboys can't be the No. 3 seed (who will face the sixth-seeded Giants in the wild-card round); it will be the Vikings or 49ers.

The runner-up in the NFC East between the Eagles and Cowboys will be the No. 5 seed. We'll get to the No. 7 seed in a moment.

Again: an Eagles win makes things fairly easy. If Philadelphia loses, there's chaos.

NFC No. 7 seed

The final wild-card spot in the NFC is easy to figure out. If the Green Bay Packers beat the Detroit Lions, the Packers are in. If the Packers lose and the Seattle Seahawks win, the Seahawks get in. If the Seahawks lose and the Lions beat the Packers, Detroit is in.

2 AFC divisions still in play

The Cincinnati Bengals could clinch the AFC North with a win on Monday night. If they lose, the winner of the Bengals-Baltimore Ravens game in Week 18 will be the division champion.

The winner of the Tennessee Titans-Jacksonville Jaguars game on Saturday night will win the AFC South and be the No. 4 seed. There is a scenario in which the Jaguars can get a wild-card spot with a loss.

AFC No. 1 seed

The Buffalo Bills-Cincinnati Bengals game Monday night has a huge impact on seeding. If the Bills win out, they're the No. 1 seed. If the Bills lose either of their last two games, that opens the door for the Kansas City Chiefs to get the No. 1 seed.

The Chiefs get the No. 1 seed with one Bills loss and a win on Saturday over the Las Vegas Raiders. If the Bengals win out and the Chiefs lose, the Bengals are the No. 1 seed. The Bengals would take the lead for the No. 2 seed over the Bills with a win on Monday night.

If the Ravens win the AFC North, they would be the No. 3 seed.

AFC wild cards

The Los Angeles Chargers currently are the No. 5 seed after the Ravens' loss Sunday night. They clinch that slot with a win in Week 18 and would play at the AFC South champion on wild-card weekend instead of someone from the Bills/Bengals/Chiefs trio. The Chargers win tiebreakers against the Bengals or Ravens.

The No. 7 seed in the AFC will be the Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers or Jaguars. The Patriots are the win-and-in team; they play at the Buffalo Bills in Week 18. If the Patriots lose, the Dolphins can get the spot with a win over the New York Jets. If the Patriots and Dolphins lose, the Steelers can get the final wild-card spot with a win over the Cleveland Browns.

If the Patriots lose to the Bills, Dolphins lose to the Jets, Steelers lose to the Browns and the Jaguars lose to the Titans, the Jaguars are the No. 7 seed.

If the Patriots, Dolphins and Steelers lose and the Jaguars win the AFC South, the Patriots would back into the No. 7 spot.