Patriots, Titans clinch playoff spots as Chargers set up Week 18 showdown with Raiders

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With just one week left in the regular season, the NFL playoff field is nearly set.

Four more teams clinched a playoff spot on Sunday afternoon, and the Los Angeles Chargers single-handedly knocked out three others from contention. Here’s how Sunday’s results impacted the playoff race:

Chargers eliminate 3, set up showdown with Raiders

The Chargers had little issue getting past the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

The Chargers rolled to a 34-13 win over Denver, which officially eliminated the Broncos, Miami Dolphins and Cleveland Browns from playoff contention and sets up a battle next week in Las Vegas.

The Raiders and Chargers will close out the regular season next week, with the winner of their AFC West matchup earning a wild-card spot in the playoffs. The Raiders beat the Colts on Sunday off a game-winning field goal, which kept their playoff hopes alive.

Though it's still possible that both the Raiders and the Chargers can get in, they'll need help in the form of a Jaguars upset over the Colts.

Packers clinch top seed, Eagles clinch berth

The Packers had no issue with the Vikings on Sunday night. They cruised to a dominant 37-10 win in Green Bay, which officially gave them the top seed in the NFC and the first round playoff bye.

The win for the Packers officially eliminated the Vikings from the postseason. It also officially clinched a playoff berth for the Philadelphia Eagles, who beat the Washington Football Team 20-16.

Titans roll to AFC South, Patriots clinch playoff spot

The Titans cruised to a 34-3 win over the Dolphins on Sunday, which gave them their second consecutive AFC South title. Ryan Tannehill threw for a pair of touchdowns and the Titans ran for a combined 198 yards and another two touchdowns in the blowout win.

That win helped the New England Patriots, too. The Patriots, after dominating the Jacksonville Jaguars 50-10 on Sunday, clinched a playoff spot.

The Titans can still take the top spot in the AFC with a win next week against the Houston Texans, or a Chiefs loss.

Bengals rally to clinch AFC North

Thanks to a huge day from Ja’Marr Chase, the Cincinnati Bengals clinched the AFC North and earned a playoff spot for the first time in six years.

The Bengals rallied out of an early 14-0 hole to beat the Kansas City Chiefs 34-31 on Sunday. Chase had 11 catches and a team-record 266 yards with three touchdowns in the win.

At 10-6, the Bengals can still claim the top seed in the AFC — though they’ll need some help to pull that off.

Bills clinch playoff berth

The Bills clinched a return trip to the playoffs, thanks to a little bit of help from the Los Angeles Rams.

The Bills beat the Atlanta Falcons 29-15 on Sunday despite three interceptions from quarterback Josh Allen — though he did run in two of their four touchdowns on the day himself. Thanks to the Rams’ late one-point win over the Baltimore Ravens, which kept them alive in the NFC West race, the Bills secured their third straight playoff trip.

What the race for the NFL playoffs looks like right now

Here’s how the NFC sits as of Sunday night:

  1. Green Bay Packers (13-3)

  2. Los Angeles Rams (12-4)

  3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12-4)

  4. Dallas Cowboys (11-5)

  5. Arizona Cardinals (11-5)

  6. San Francisco 49ers (9-7)

  7. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7)

  8. New Orleans Saints (8-8)

  9. Minnesota Vikings (7-9)

Here’s how the AFC sits as of Sunday night:

  1. Tennessee Titans (11-5)

  2. Kansas City Chiefs (11-5)

  3. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6)

  4. Buffalo Bills (10-6)

  5. New England Patriots (10-6)

  6. Indianapolis Colts (9-7)

  7. Los Angeles Chargers (9-7)

  8. Las Vegas Raiders (9-7)

  9. Baltimore Ravens (8-8)

  10. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7-1), playing Monday night