Following Week 16, the playoff race has tightened in the AFC. After the Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Chargers clinched playoff spots, five squads are locked in for the postseason. The AFC South remains a two-horse race between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans. Four teams are contending for the final Wild Card spot.
Check out the AFC playoff picture ahead of Week 17.
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1. Bills (12-3) – Clinched Division
Following the 35-13 win over the Chicago Bears, the Buffalo Bills clinched the AFC East. The Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals are not far behind in standings, meaning Buffalo likely must win out to secure the No. 1 seed.
The Bills, who are Super Bowl favorites at +375, have a pivotal game against the Bengals in Week 17.
- Week 17 vs Bengals
- Week 18 vs Patriots
2. Chiefs (12-3) – Clinched Division
The Kansas City Chiefs could be in the best position to finish atop the AFC. They have an easy remaining schedule against the Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders. Kansas City should win out, and a Bills loss would elevate the Chiefs to the top seed.
- Week 17 vs Broncos
- Week 18 vs Raiders
3. Bengals (11-4) – Clinched Playoff Spot
After the New York Jets lost on Thursday Night Football, the Cincinnati Bengals officially clinched a playoff spot. However, they still have work to do. Cincy could clinch the AFC North in Week 17 with a win and a Baltimore Ravens loss. A win over Buffalo would also drastically improve the Bengals’ chances for the No. 1 seed.
- Week 17 vs Bills
- Week 18 vs Ravens
4. Jaguars (7-8)
The Jacksonville Jaguars won their third consecutive game in Week 16 and the Tennessee Titans lost. For now, Jacksonville holds the top spot in the AFC South. The division will come down to Week 18’s battle with Tennessee.
- Week 17 vs Texans
- Week 18 vs Titans
5. Ravens (10-5) – Clinched Playoff Spot
After a 17-9 win over the Atlanta Falcons, a Jets loss and New England Patriots loss, the Baltimore Ravens earned a postseason berth. However, the Ravens are hoping to win the AFC North and avoid a Wild Card spot. Baltimore must win out to win the division. Fortunately, quarterback Lamar Jackson could return this week.
- Week 17 vs Steelers
- Week 18 vs Bengals
6. Chargers (9-6) – Clinched Playoff Spot
Following Monday night’s win over the Indianapolis Colts, the Los Angeles Chargers have clinched a Wild Card spot. Los Angeles’ Super Bowl odds are slowly dropping at +2500, as the defense has hit its stride while the offense has gotten healthy. The Chargers look like a tough out in the Wild Card round.
- Week 17 vs Rams
- Week 18 vs Broncos
7. Dolphins (8-7)
After leading the Green Bay Packers 20-10 in the second quarter, the Miami Dolphins completely collapsed. This was a gut-wrenching 26-20 loss that puts Miami on the brink of missing the playoffs. Week 17’s battle against the Patriots could decide the Dolphins’ fate.
- Week 17 vs Patriots
- Week 18 vs Jets
In the Hunt
The Tennessee Titans have lost five consecutive games and fell out of the playoff picture in Week 16. However, the Titans’ playoff hopes will come down to Week 18’s clash with the Jaguars. Tennessee would like to find some momentum on Thursday night against the Dallas Cowboys, but even with a loss, the Titans are alive in the AFC South.
- Week 17 vs Cowboys
- Week 18 vs Jaguars
The Miami Dolphins’ loss in Week 16 was huge. Despite losing to the Bengals, the New England Patriots’ path to the playoffs is simple. Win two games and you’re in.
- Week 17 vs Dolphins
- Week 18 vs Bills
The New York Jets are another divisional foe thankful for the Dolphins’ loss. New York has new life with quarterback Mike White returning from injury for Week 17. The Jets must win out while the Patriots lose one game. New England has upcoming games against the Dolphins and Bills. New York has a great chance to make the playoffs if it wins the final two games.
- Week 17 vs Seahawks
- Week 18 vs Dolphins
The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of two remaining long-shot teams alive. Pittsburgh’s 3-7 conference record makes a postseason berth extremely unlikely. The Steelers must win out, while the Dolphins lose out and the Jets and Patriots each lose once.
- Week 17 vs Ravens
- Week 18 vs Browns
Following the loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Las Vegas Raiders are on the verge of being eliminated. Of course, making the postseason would be a miracle at this point. Next week, the Raiders will be eliminated with a loss, a Dolphins win or a Jets win.
- Week 17 vs 49ers
- Week 18 vs Chiefs