AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
There are still five weeks left in the NFL regular season, but three teams have a chance to clinch a playoff berth in their next game.
The Minnesota Vikings can clinch the NFC North with a win or tie against the Detroit Lions. The Kansas City Chiefs can wrap up the AFC West with a win and a Los Angeles Chargers loss to the Miami Dolphins.
The Philadelphia Eagles can clinch a playoff berth with a win or with losses by the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks:
No teams have clinched a postseason berth at this point. The Houston Texans and Chicago Bears are the only teams that have been eliminated from contention.
The Eagles have been the best team in the NFL all season, but they still have heat in the division race with the Dallas Cowboys sitting at 9-3. The NFC East rivals will play at AT&T Stadium on Christmas Eve in a game that could decide the No. 1 seed.
Philadelphia has made the postseason four times in the past five years. It hasn’t won a playoff game since Jan. 16, 2019.
Even though they don’t do it in dominant fashion, the Vikings keep winning games. Their plus-10 point differential through 12 games is the worst in NFL history by a team that started 10-2.
The Vikings’ two losses were against the Eagles and Cowboys by a combined 54 points. They have a stiff test on Sunday against a Lions team that has won four of their last five games and has scored at least 25 points in four straight games.
Minnesota hasn’t won the NFC North since 2017 when it advanced to the NFC Championship Game.
The Chiefs will play the Denver Broncos on Sunday. This is the first meeting of the season between these two teams. Kansas City has won 13 consecutive games against the Broncos dating back to 2015.
Coming into this season, there were some doubts about the Chiefs’ ability to keep playing at the same level they had been at the previous four years with Tyreek Hill traded to the Miami Dolphins.
The rest of the division looked like it got better with players like Davante Adams (Las Vegas Raiders), Russell Wilson (Denver Broncos), J.C. Jackson and Khalil Mack (Los Angeles Chargers) joining the AFC West.
Instead, the Chiefs have looked the same with the No. 1 scoring offense in the NFL. Patrick Mahomes is arguably the MVP front-runner with a league-leading 3,808 passing yards and 30 touchdowns.
Kansas City owns the NFL’s longest streak with six consecutive division titles. It will take a historic collapse over the final five weeks for that streak to end.