John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
Everything you need to know for the AFC Playoff Picture.
On Friday we ran through all the different Playoff clinching scenarios for the Colts, and thankfully for all of us the easiest came to fruition: the Colts beat the Chiefs 20-13 Sunday, clinching one of the two AFC Wild Card spots. In fact, with the win they clinch the fifth seed in the Playoffs. Here's how:
- The Colts beat the Bengals on the Common Opponent tie-breaker 4-1 to 3-2 (Browns, Jaguars, Chiefs, Dolphins).
- The only way the Ravens don't win their division would be to lose their last two games, which would put them at 9-7, a game behind the Colts even if they lose last week, who will finish at worst 10-6.
[UPDATE]: The Ravens defeated the Giants 33-14. This means Baltimore wins the AFC North and the Cincinnati Bengals are locked in as the No. 6 seed. -Brad
We already knew that the Texans, Broncos, and Patriots were all division winners, although none of them have clinched a bye in the first round yet. The Texans still control their own destiny for the #1 seed, as they'll just need to beat the Colts next week to finish 13-3. As we stand now they are tied with the Broncos (Denver is still playing as we speak), and the Texans beat the Broncos back in Week 3. A loss by either team puts them into a tie with the Patriots, who defeated both teams this season, so they still have a shot at the #1 seed. They also could be the 4 seed though.
Let's recap everyone so it's a little less confusing:
- Texans: Win against Colts gives them #1 seed. Loss will most likely put them at the #3 seed behind both the Broncos and Patriots. Cannot be worse than #3 seed.
- Broncos: Assuming the 14-3 lead over Cleveland holds, a win next week against the Chiefs will give them a bye. They'll get the #1 seed with a loss by the Texans. Losing either of their games will most likely put them at the #3 seed. They cannot be worse than that.
- Patriots: Currently hold the #3 seed, but with a win next week against the Dolphins, they are a Texans or Broncos loss from getting a bye in the first round. If they lose and the Ravens win both today (they are up 24-7 currently) and next week against the Bengals, they'll fall to the #4 seed (which would be bad for the Colts)
- Ravens: A win today will win the division for them. They cannot get a bye as they cannot catch the Texans, and even if the Broncos, Patriots, and Ravens all finish 11-5 (still possible at the moment), the Patriots will win that tie-breaker with best conference record. See above how they could still get the #3 seed. Could fall to #6 seed if they lose to Giants and to the Bengals.
- Colts: They are the #5 seed. Pretty simple.
- Bengals: If Ravens win today, they'll be the #6 seed and won't have much to play for next week. If Ravens lose, next week they'll just have to beat the Ravens to win division and the #4 seed.
The Colts have three possible wild card opponents: the Patriots, Ravens, or Bengals. That number will be reduced by 1 after the Giants/Ravens game today. God I hope we can remove the Patriots, but with the Ravens pummeling the Giants, my bet is the Colts won't be seeing the Bengals in Round 1.