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AFC Wild Card Watch: Week 13

Indianapolis Colts v Buffalo Bills Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images

Current Standings

5th Los Angeles Chargers 7-5 / 85% chance

6th Cincinnati Bengals 7-5 / 60% chance

7th Buffalo Bills 7-5 / 65% chance

OUT Pittsburgh Steelers 6-5-1 / 40% chance

OUT Indianapolis Colts 7-6 / 45% chance

Los Angeles Chargers

Score this Week: Won 41-22 @Bengals

Well, this one was not expected. Herbert destroyed the Bengals’ secondary through the air while the Chargers’ defense managed to contain Joe Mixon and forced 4 turnovers. What was really fun to watch was that the Chargers jumped to an early 24-0 lead before the Bengals stormed back to put the game at 24-22. The Chargers blew the game away in the final stretch, scoring 17 consecutive points. With this win, the Chargers' chances of making the playoffs increase drastically.

Next Week: vs. Giants

The Giants will be without quarterback Daniel Jones, and while no win is easy in the NFL, I just can’t think of a way the Chargers manage to lose this one.

Cincinnati Bengals

Score this Week: Lost 22-41 vs. Chargers

As mentioned above, the Bengals almost managed to erase a 24 point deficit, before collapsing in the late stages of the game, culminating in a 19 point defeat. With some tough remaining matchups, the Bengals are facing a shaky playoff outlook.

Next Week: vs. 49ers

The Niners are a tough team to figure out, but they certainly are a dangerous opponent with plenty of weapons both on offense and defense. The Bengals desperately need a win here, as a loss against their most beatable opponent remaining would really hurt their chances of making the playoffs.

Buffalo Bills

Score this Week: Lost 10-14 vs. Patriots

The Bills lost an ugly game against the Patriots, where Mac Jones had just 3 pass attempts in hellish conditions. Josh Allen and the Bills offense are not built to play in those conditions, as their running game is not as potent as their passing attack.

Next Week: @Buccaneers

The Bills have two games remaining against very tough opponents (TB, NE) and the other three against very winnable ones (CAR, ATL, NYJ). A 3-2 record in their final 5 games should be enough to get them a playoff spot, but because the Colts have the head-to-head tiebreaker, they might need to get a win against either the Bucs or the Pats.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Score this Week: Won 20-19 vs. Ravens

Big win by the Steelers, who have to be kicking themselves over the tie against the Lions, as a win there would make their playoff picture considerably more attractive. Big Ben had an almost perfect game, and the Steelers pass rush managed to have Lamar Jackson under pressure all day long. T.J. Watt makes this defense a unit to fear and Najee Harris makes the offense much better.

Next Week: @Vikings

The problem with the Steelers is that they have the toughest remaining schedule out of the Wild Card contenders, with an away game against the Vikings being arguably the softest matchup remaining. Minnesota will be without star receiver Adam Thielen, so that is a big plus for the Steelers.