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With just four weeks left in the 2022 NFL regular season, the AFC and NFC playoff races are heating up. My NFL simulator has three teams fighting for two spots in the AFC, none of which has a more than 51.0 percent chance. The NFC might be the better of the two races, as it appears to be a four-team race for two spots, and none of those four teams has a better than 61.1 percent chance of making the postseason.

Five teams entered Saturday with a chance to make the playoffs, and the 49ers did just that Thursday, beating Seattle to win the NFC West (and Seattle’s playoff odds from 61.1% to 42.3% lowering). San Francisco joins the Eagles on the field. Here are the scenarios of the other four teams in that group.

The Bills win Saturday night against the Dolphins or a tie and a combination of losses to the Chargers, Patriots or Jets.

The Chiefs win the AFC West by beating the Texans on Sunday or losing to the Chargers or ties between both the Chiefs and the Chargers. The Chiefs can clinch a playoff spot this week with a tie and: losses by the Jets and Patriots or losses by the Dolphins, Patriots and Jets or losses by the Dolphins and Jets and Patriots.

Cowboys win at Jacksonville on Sunday. They are also in with a tie and: Giants and Commanders not tied, Seahawks lose or tie, Seahawks loss and Lions loss or tie, or Seahawks loss and Commanders loss.

The Vikings clinch the NFC North by beating or tying the Colts on Saturday. The Vikings will also struggle if Detroit loses or ties on Sunday.

Let’s take a look at this week’s most meaningful games for the AFC and NFC playoff races and how each outcome will affect a team’s playoff chances.

Please note that the results of this game are independent of any other games in this week of games. For example, a Lions win against the Jets wouldn’t have the same guaranteed result as a 49ers vs. Seahawks game. In the simplest terms, it’s a measure of the playoff impact the game has right now.

Dolphins at Bills, 8:15 PM ET Saturday

Probability before the 15th week. Dolphins 80.9 percent | Bills >99.9 percent

And if the Dolphins win?

team Playoff odds Change

94.4 percent

+13.5 percent

99.7 percent

-0.2 percent

What if the Bills win?

team Playoff odds Change

74.8 percent

-6.1 percent

100.0 percent

+0.1 percent

Cowboys at Jaguars, Sunday at 1:00 PM ET

Probability before the 15th week. Cowboys 100 percent Jaguars 13.4 percent

What if the Cowboys win?

team Playoff odds Change

100.0 percent

0.0 percent

8.8 percent

-4.6 percent

And if the Jaguars win?

team Playoff odds Change

100.0 percent

0.0 percent

25.8 percent

+12.4 percent

Lions at Jets, Sunday 1:00 PM ET

Probability before the 15th week. Lions 53.5 percent |: Jets 31.8 percent

What if the Lions win?

team Playoff odds Change

69.7 percent

+16.2 percent

19.8 percent

-12.0 percent

And if the Jets win?

team Playoff odds Change

39.4 percent

-14.1 percent

40.8 percent

+9.0 percent

Titans at Chargers, Sunday 4:25 ET

Probability before the 15th week. Titans 88.1 percent | Chargers 51.2 percent

And if the titans win?

team Playoff odds Change

95.4 percent

+7.5 percent

30.8 percent

-20.4 percent

What if the Chargers win?

team Playoff odds Change

80.5 percent

-7.6 percent

71.0 percent

+19.8 percent

Giants at Commanders, Sunday 8:20 p.m. ET

Probability before the 15th week. Giants 27.5 percent | Commanders 56.5 percent

And if the giants win?

team Playoff odds Change

55.7 percent

+28.2 percent

25.7 percent

-30.8 percent

What if the commanders win?

team Playoff odds Change

11.8 percent

-15.8 percent

73.4 percent

+16.9 percent

(Photo: Al Bello / Getty Images)

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