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2012 AFC Playoff Picture: Teams Set, Colts No. 5 Seed

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Everything you need to know for the AFC Playoff Picture.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

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.