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Only one playoff spot left in AFC

Peyton Manning

The lack of Sunday Night Football has the PFT staff looking for things to do tonight.  (Florio was last seen on the snowy streets of New York, trying to have a “livechat” with tourists walking by.)

I’ll go another route and update the playoff picture for both conferences.  Sunday’s results cleared things up quite a bit, especially in the AFC.  San Diego’s choke in Cincinnati decided the AFC West and both wild card spots are settled.  Here’s how things stand:

1. New England (13-2): The Patriots have clinched homefield advantage with their win in Buffalo.  Bill Belichick has traditionally played his starters in Week 17 in similar situations, but not every time.  He may want his young defense to continue to get work against the Dolphins.

2. Pittsburgh (11-4): The Steelers have to win a tricky game in Cleveland or hope the Ravens lose to the Bengals to clinch the No. 2 seed and the AFC North crown.  Otherwise, Pittsburgh could fall all the way to the No. 6 seed.  Browns-Steelers thus becomes one of the bigger Week 17 AFC games.

3. Kansas City (10-5): The Chiefs are AFC West champions.  A win over the Raiders next week would clinch the No. 3 seed in the conference.  A loss and a win by the Colts would push Kansas City down to No. 4.  (And possibly stuck going to Foxborough in round two.  Something to think about if the Chiefs consider resting folks.)

4. Indianapolis (9-6): A win or tie against the Titans next week wins the division for the Colts.  A loss by the Jaguars in Houston also puts the Colts in.   Like we said above, the Colts could still be the three seed.

5. Baltimore (11-4): The Ravens are in.  They need a win and a loss by the Steelers to go all the up to the No. 2 seed.  They can’t fall below the Jets because they beat New York in Week 1.

6. New York (10-5): Rex Ryan is relieved the Jets are in.  To move up a spot, the Jets would need to win and have the Steelers lose and have the Ravens win.  It sounds like they won’t even play their starters next week.

7. Jacksonville (8-7): The loss to the Redskins wasn’t that damaging, really.   Because the Colts won in Oakland, the Jaguars would have needed the Colts to lose to the Titans in Week 17 for a chance to win the division.   That’s still the case.  Jacksonville needs to win in Houston and get a Colts loss to the Titans to get the No. 4 seed.  Simple.

8-16: Everyone else:  Try again next year.

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29 Responses to “Only one playoff spot left in AFC”
  1. sarahpalinhater says: Dec 26, 2010 10:03 PM

    I won’t assume a easy win for Pittsburgh next sunday cause ALL teams who are out of it want to try and foil things for those teams who have something to play for. But on the other hand, even IF Pittsburgh gets upset by Cleveland,,,don’t assume Baltimore will win next week against Cincy. Has anyone noticed that in the past two weeks since TO has NOT played for the Bengals, how happier Carson has looked ? Or how more diversified the Bengals offense has looked ? I mean 10 losses in a row with TO and Chad all but DEMADING Carson throw it to them. And then the past 2 weeks without them,,,and two straight Bengal Wins!!

    See a pattern here ?

  2. 49erman says: Dec 26, 2010 10:16 PM

    Indy should crush the Titans while the Jags will wonder why they couldn’t beat the lowly Skins at home!

  3. nsevh76 says: Dec 26, 2010 10:17 PM

    I don’t see how the Colts can be a five seed. 2nd place in the AFC North is ahead of them for a wild card. So are the Jets.

  4. hobartbaker says: Dec 26, 2010 10:20 PM

    Football commentator arrested on morals charge for soliciting “livechat” on N.Y. street corner.

    Authorities are still trying to ascertain exactly what the levels of depredation involved in “livechat” are.

  5. jaggedmark says: Dec 26, 2010 10:24 PM

    It’s up to the Titans to keep Peyton out of the playoffs? bahahahahahah!!!

  6. profootballwalk says: Dec 26, 2010 10:24 PM

    Positive: the Chargers are out.

    Negative: LaDanian Tomlinson is no longer with them. I love to see that pu$$y cry.

  7. touchdownroddywhite says: Dec 26, 2010 10:25 PM

    You failed to update the playoff picture for the NFC….

    If this comes true, I’ll have picked every AFC playoff team(slightly out of order) correct, from week 10. Only real difference is I had Ravens at 2, Jets at 5, and Steelers at 6. Which I think is still technically possible.

  8. paulnoga says: Dec 26, 2010 10:28 PM

    The only pattern with the Bengals is that they have gone back to the “winning a few unimportant games at the end of the year after they are out of it”. We have seen this many times in the past. The browns have also gone on that route. The only thing the Bengals have done is a worse draft pick next year. nothing more.

  9. steelers6pack says: Dec 26, 2010 10:37 PM

    Is there a flex game next week? Pitt-Cleve or Indy-Tenn should be it. Oh wait it might snow in Cleve so Tenn- Indy would be the game. As a Steeler fan I see a very close game next week as the Browns will try everything to ensure Steelers do not get a 1st round bye.. Look for the score to be something like 20-16….

  10. jbaxt says: Dec 26, 2010 10:43 PM

    Awesome! Chiefs are 10-6 at worst, possible 11-5 and either way hosting a playoff game. And the best part is this is a young/out of no where team. I was expecting no better than a 7-9 season and I don’t think the Chiefs will go too far but anything is possible at Arrowhead, welcome back Chiefs, the next 5 years should be great!!!

  11. jdmp86 says: Dec 26, 2010 10:43 PM

    Thats great the Vikqueens play Tuesday, very short week before the last game of the season when Favre will FINALLY have his career end and Minnesota will be embarrassed by the Lions.

  12. Bubby Brister says: Dec 26, 2010 10:51 PM

    Call me crazy, but I think the Chiefs going to Foxborough would actually be the last thing the Patriots want to see happen. Yes. You read that right.

    If you wanna beat the Pats, you’re gonna have to keep Tom Brady off the field as much as possible. And when they do score, you’re going to want to match them. It comes down to getting a handful of stops. KC’s defense may not be anything special, but with Weis, Crennel and Cassel there, I have a feeling they could maybe slow the Pats offense down a little bit. NE’s defense keeps points off the board, but keep in mind that they’re still horrific in the stats column and most importantly, are often playing with huge leads and therefore know what’s coming. Successfuly run the ball and suddenly they aren’t so good at that anymore (ask Cleveland). It’s a matchup nightmare for them… nobody else in the playoffs runs the ball remotely close to as well as the Chiefs do, and no coaching staff knows the Patriots as well as the Chiefs do.

    Remember this comment…

  13. 49erman says: Dec 26, 2010 11:01 PM

    Flex game is Rams at Seahawks. Winner is the NFC West Champs and host a playoff game. Sad to think but true!

  14. sarahpalinhater says: Dec 26, 2010 11:05 PM

    Paulnoga,,,you’re a idiot. The Bengals game today was VERY Important…Important to the Chargers! It wasn’t like they were playing Carolina! And if you don’t think that teams like Cincy and Cleveland will be up next week wanting to play their best so they can screw their long time rivals like Pitt and Baltimore,,,then you truly are foolish.

    Bottom line…0-10 with TO & Ocho,,,and 2-0 the past two weeks without them…….are we LEARNING YET PAULNOGA!! ?

  15. ladybucsandsteelersnut says: Dec 26, 2010 11:14 PM

    @ Bubby Brister

    You have a really intersting point, and could easily turn out to be right. It would be great if we could see that happen. I’m so hoping some AFC team can knock the Pats off of their pedastal.

  16. tothefellowshipofthemiserable says: Dec 26, 2010 11:25 PM

    Hey Bubby ! Good point.

  17. joerevs300 says: Dec 26, 2010 11:26 PM

    The Steelers have the most important game next week, and by far the most to lose.

    A win gives them only 1 game to subject everyone to punishment from the 23rd of December to the 2nd round of the playoffs. Which is enough time to get Troy and Ben back to 100%, and possibly have Aaron Smith back as well. A loss and a Ravens win would put them on the road at KC (most likely). The Steelers in the past have not faired well at Arrowhead. Their reward for winning that game would be a trip to Foxboro in Round 2. I just don’t see a 2005 run (3 road wins) in this team.

    On the other hand, IMO the Ravens would beat KC and have the best chance, outside of the Steelers, to beat New England. The Jets? That’s not happening. KC? Right. Indy? Not with all their injuries.

    So at this point, NE is rooting for Cleveland to win. That’s their best path to the Super Bowl (facing a beat up Steeler team in Round 2 instead of a healthy Steeler team in the AFC Championship)

  18. kisstherings says: Dec 26, 2010 11:42 PM

    re: 7. Jacksonville (8-7): The loss to the Redskins wasn’t that damaging, really.

    ——————————————————

    Your an idiot Rosenthall. Ofcourse it was damaging, if they beat the Redskins they would still be playing for the 6th seed wild card against the Jets as well….

  19. skoobyfl says: Dec 27, 2010 12:27 AM

    I’ll snap if the Bills win somehow to drop themselves from 3rd in the draft to 9th, seriously.

  20. Deb says: Dec 27, 2010 12:44 AM

    I don’t care for the Pats or their coach, but respect both. Belichick is the best coach in football, and I love that he doesn’t sit his starters and throw games in which other playoff berths could be decided just because he’s already clinched home field. It’s one thing to rest injured players, but healthy guys? That’s ridiculous. My Steelers have done it, too–doesn’t make it right. You’d think at some point coaches would look at Belichick’s post-season success record and wise up.

  21. stanjam says: Dec 27, 2010 1:43 AM

    While it is true that Weiss and Crennel know tha Pats well, it is also true that Bill knows them as well. In fact, most of what they know comes from Bill. I think Bill could probably pull off a win against them. Still, you are right. Of all the matchups the Pats probably DON’T want to see, it is the Chiefs coming to Foxborough.

  22. dailynorseman says: Dec 27, 2010 4:05 AM

    jdmp86 says: Dec 26, 2010 10:43 PM

    Thats great the Vikqueens play Tuesday, very short week before the last game of the season when Favre will FINALLY have his career end and Minnesota will be embarrassed by the Lions.”
    ————
    Wow. . .an idiotic comment about an NFC team in the post dedicated to the AFC playoff picture.

    As if we needed any more proof that Viking haters are among the dumbest damn people on the planet. Thank you, jdmp86, for removing any doubt about your stupidity or the stupidity of your fellow mouth-breathing Viking haters.

  23. iluvwikileaks says: Dec 27, 2010 5:44 AM

    As a Steelers fan, I want to thank the Stains for sucking once again and being unable to beat the Ratbirds. I guess the Steelers will have to destroy you themselves next week.

    What an embarassment the Stains are. Not even one Super Bowl appearance in their miserable history. No wonder LeBron left this dump. Ha!

  24. thetooloftools says: Dec 27, 2010 7:21 AM

    this whole ugly mess is a reason for no 18 game season. the playoffs can’t start soon enough for me.

  25. 1historian says: Dec 27, 2010 8:41 AM

    BubbyBrister – Good post. The Pats will have 2 weeks to rest up and heal, but EVERY team is dangerous. Remember that BB will have time to prepare a defense for MC and remember that the GMs of both KC and Atlanta learned from BB.

    But there is only one master – it should be interesting.

    The Pats have beaten the Steelers on the road handily and beaten the Ravens (Terell Suggs notwithstanding) at home after being down by 10 in the 4th quarter, they beat the Colts, they split with the Jets, they got a serious butt-kicking from the Browns at exactly the right time, since then they are giving up just under 17 ppg, yesterday they made it look easy beating Buffalo.

    Call them by whatever silly derogatory name you want to, but 13-2 is just that – 13-2.

    Since ‘spygate’ – 51-15 – 77.27%

  26. 1historian says: Dec 27, 2010 8:43 AM

    One more thing.

    Master to student – I know everything YOU know but you don’t know everything I know.

    Words to remember?

  27. 1historian says: Dec 27, 2010 8:45 AM

    To put it better –

    Master to student – “I’ve taught you everything YOU know, but not everything I know.”

  28. blackglass3 says: Dec 27, 2010 8:56 AM

    I’m not buying the “Chiefs go to Foxboro and win” stuff. Belichick knows Weis and Crennel just as well as they know him. And Belichick can scheme a D to stop the Weis offense: See the 94 Browns/Pats playoff game.

    Besides, I see the Cheifs as a version of the 08 Falcons. Very good up and coming team, but young and not ready for the bright playoff lights yet.

  29. Bubby Brister says: Dec 27, 2010 10:09 AM

    Not saying the old faces necessarily SHUTDOWN the Pats offense, but if they can get the ground game going and the chains/clock moving, they could put up 30+. All they’ll need to pull it off is a few defensive stops. The defense playing as well as Green Bay did last Sunday night would do.

    Not really a prediction, though. Just something interesting to keep in mind down the road.

    Likely won’t matter either way, though, if the Chiefs end up with the 3 seed. Pittsburgh/Baltimore are the exact opposite in terms of matchup. They won’t be able to run the ball at all. Funny how important the precise order the cards fall in is this time of the year.

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