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Four More Teams Can Clinch Playoff Berths

December 12, 2005

NEW YORK (AP) _ New England, Cincinnati, Denver and Chicago all can clinch postseason berths next weekend, joining Indianapolis and Seattle to give the NFL six of its 12 playoff teams with two weeks left in the regular season.

The Patriots (8-5), seeking to become the first team to win three straight Super Bowls, can clinch the AFC East with a win over Tampa Bay at home or a loss by Miami to the New York Jets. The Bengals (10-3) can win the AFC North with a win at Detroit or a Pittsburgh loss at Minnesota, putting them in the playoffs for the first time since 1990.

Denver (10-3) can clinch the AFC West with a win at Buffalo and losses by Kansas City at the New York Giants and San Diego at Indianapolis. The Broncos also can clinch a wild-card spot with a win or losses by the Steelers, Chargers and Chiefs.

And the Bears (9-4) can clinch at least a wild-card spot if they beat Atlanta at home and the Giants and Cowboys lose. Dallas is at Washington.

Seattle (11-2), which already has clinched the NFC North, can clinch a first-round bye with a win at Tennessee and can get home-field advantage for the playoffs with a win and a loss by the Bears.

Arizona, Baltimore, Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, Green Bay, Houston, New Orleans, the N.Y. Jets, Oakland, Philadelphia, St. Louis, San Francisco and Tennessee have been eliminated from playoff contention.

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