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AFC Playoff Picture

 

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AFC Playoff Picture: Tomman Edition

 

     On this edition of ESPNEWS, the playoff picture for the AFC will be the focus. The Cream of the crop in the conference are the Cleveland Browns, sitting pretty at 13-0 as of week 14. As for the rest of the AFC, several teams are battling for wild card spots. The final 4 weeks of the season will have nothing but drama, trash talking, and crucial matchups to clear this playoff picture. Let’s take an in-depth look at the current state of affairs I the AFC.  

 

AFC West:

  • Oakland Raiders 10-3, remaining games: vs. Patriots, @ Broncos, @ Jaguars
  • Los Angeles Chargers 7-6, remaining games: vs. Titans, @ Vikings, vs. Broncos

            Overview: The Raiders are 3 games ahead of the Los Angeles Chargers in the division, and with a 2 game sweep head to head over the Chargers, so the division is all but clinched. The Chargers do however have a shot at the playoffs via the wild card. With 3 games against opponents at or below their record, a 3-game winning streak could propel the Chargers and Coach Jerms to a playoff berth in his first under the helm. As for Coach Zack and the Raiders, it looks as if the 2 seed is where they’ll finish. Which is good news for the reeling Raiders, due to the fact that the team did not perform in their matchup with the undefeated Cleveland Browns. Let’s see how far these two teams make it in the playoffs.

AFC North:

  • Cleveland Browns 13-0, remaining games: vs. Bills, vs. Dolphins, @ Ravens
  • Baltimore Ravens 8-5, remaining games: @ Bengals, vs. Steelers, vs. Browns
  • Pittsburgh Steelers 7-6, remaining games: vs. Rams, @ Ravens, vs. Bengals

 

               Overview: In the AFC North, it’s the same as last season, with the Browns dominating this season at 13-0, and the Ravens and Steelers fighting for the wild card. Last season, only the Browns made the postseason, which ended in Super Bowl XXVI. This year, the Ravens control their own destiny in order to make the playoffs after missing the dance last season. Coach Hunter and the Steelers are also in the thick of the playoff race but have found themselves on the wrong side of the scoreboard in recent weeks, currently suffering a 3-game losing streak. The timing could not have come at a worse time for Steeler fans. A pivotal week 16 matchup in Baltimore will either put a fork in the Steelers season, or provide a key second victory over a tough Raven team. The Ravens and Coach Tomman have their work cut out for them if they want a chance at the playoffs. After a road tilt with the Bengals, Baltimore hosts the Steelers and Browns in consecutive weeks.

AFC South:

  • Tennessee Titans 7-6, Remaining games: @ Chargers, @ Colts, vs. Chiefs
  • Indianapolis Colts 5-7, Remaining Games: vs. Chiefs, @ Jaguars, vs. Titans, @ Texans
  • Jacksonville Jaguars 5-7 remaining games: vs. Falcons, vs. Colts, @ Texans, vs. Raiders

             Overview: The AFC South is an absolute toss up yet again. As it stands right now the Tennessee Titans have a 1 game lead over the Indianapolis Colts and the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Titans are coming off a big home victory over the Steelers and Coach Dom wants nothing more than to ride that momentum to a division title. But should the Titans slip up at the end of the season against the Colts, they could be jolted out of the playoff picture entirely. The Jaguars are the ugly stepchild of the muddled division, possibly winning the division if they can win out and get help from Titan losses.

AFC East:

  • Buffalo Bills 8-5, Remaining Games: @ Browns, vs. Bengals, @ Jets
  • New England Patriots 7-5, Remaining Games: @ Redskins, @ Raiders, @ Jets, @ Dolphins

          Overview: Don’t look now but we have a tight race for the AFC East. Buffalo is fresh off a 24-21 loss to Coach Tomman and the Baltimore Ravens and with a Patriot win this week, could be tied atop the division. The Bills own the tie breaker, as they have won both head to head matchups. However, the Bills take on the Browns next week and with a loss coupled with a win by the Patriots, they could be delegated to a wild card spot. The patriots don’t exactly have a simple path to the playoffs either. With 4 road games to end the season, the schedule makers were not kind to coach ATK. The Pats need to win 3 out 4 to make the playoffs. The fortunate fact is that the other wild card contenders have lost head to head against the Patriots, so they control their own destiny.  

 

Playoff Seeding as of now: 

  1. Cleveland Browns – 13-0
  2. Oakland Raiders – 10-3
  3. Buffalo Bills – 8-5
  4. Tennessee Titans – 7-6
  5. Baltimore Ravens – 8-5 (Wildcard)
  6. New England Patriots – 7-5 (Wildcard)
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