AFC playoff picture: Steelers, Patriots atop the conference

Getty Images

Some things never change.

The Steelers and Patriots are the two franchises that have played in the AFC Championship Game the most, and the Steelers and Patriots are the two teams atop the AFC this year.

Here’s how the AFC playoff picture looks, with each team now having played 10 games:

LEADERS
1. Steelers (8-2): Pittsburgh has the tiebreaker over New England based on a better conference record.

2. Patriots (8-2): New England’s December 17 game at Pittsburgh is shaping up to be the game of the year.

3. Jaguars (7-3): Is America ready for the Jaguars in the playoffs? Because they’re a near-lock to make it.

4. Chiefs (6-4): Kansas City has stumbled mightily after a hot start, but the Chiefs are still the overwhelming favorites in the AFC West.

5. Titans (6-4): The Week 17 date with the Jaguars could decide the AFC South. Could a Jaguars-Titans game really get flexed into prime time?

6. Ravens (5-5): Joe Flacco isn’t playing well, but Baltimore’s defense is, and that may be enough.

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
7. Bills (5-5): Sean McDermott made a huge mistake by benching Tyrod Taylor but the Bills aren’t out of it just yet.

8. Dolphins (4-6): It’s hard to believe an offense this bad is only a game out of the wild card, but here we are.

9. Jets (4-6): It’s hard to believe a team everyone accused of tanking is only a game out of the wild card, but here we are.

10. Bengals (4-6): Cincinnati’s offense is starting to pick up.

11. Texans (4-6): The Deshaun Watson injury probably cost the Texans a playoff spot.

12. Chargers (4-6): Los Angeles is coming on strong, but making up a two-game deficit in the division will be tough.

13. Raiders (4-6): Oakland a major disappointment.

14. Colts (3-7): If only Andrew Luck had been healthy.

15. Broncos (3-7): Denver may be the biggest disappointment in the league.

16. Browns (0-10): They actually haven’t been mathematically eliminated yet, but it’s probably safe to say the Browns won’t be in the playoffs this year.

65 responses to “AFC playoff picture: Steelers, Patriots atop the conference

  1. Since the start of last season Tom Brady has throw 50 tds and 4 ints

    Let that sink in…..

    And the D that allowed 32 ppg the first 4 games has allowed 12.5 the last 6 games

  2. As between the Patriot and the Steelers, all these lists based on tiebreakers are as meaningless as an NBA halftime score … until December 17 when they go head to head. Then the tiebreaker, if needed, will be in stone.

  3. grogansheroes says:
    November 19, 2017 at 8:07 pm
    If Luck were healthy the Colts would be no better

    —-
    Colts really do seem to have trouble winning football games since the league started checking PSI in footballs. 0 playoff appearances since the night they were caught with under inflated footballs in the 2014 AFC Championship game and most likely the drought continues in 2017.

    Very odd. 🙂

  4. Outside of NE and Pittsburgh, the AFC is horrible this year. A 7-9 team might actually make the playoffs.

  5. pats wills dismantle pitt

    how does the media
    completely ignore facts?

    ne is better than pitt in every single category

    pitt struggled with tenn for 3.5 qtrs and tenn stinks!

  6. Congrats to the Jags. You have been my secret crush for years and as long as you don’t face the Pats you have my support. Go get it.

  7. “16. Browns (0-10): They actually haven’t been mathematically eliminated yet, but it’s probably safe to say the Browns won’t be in the playoffs this year.”

    It’s tough enough to be a Browns fan, why torture their fan base more and give them a sliver of hope?….lol

    Not a Jags fan but great to see them doing well. Great for their loyal fans and gets some new blood in the playoff discussion.

  8. ne is better than pitt in every single category

    pitt struggled with tenn for 3.5 qtrs and tenn stinks!

    ****

    Patriots lost to a declining chiefs team

  9. Pats were a machine today In Mexico City. I don’t think anyone can compete with them until they play the Eagles in the Superbowl. Unless of course the red hot Jags stop them.

  10. The Jags will revert to form by the end of the season, much like the Bills are doing…

    Don’t be fooled by the Flavor of the Month.

  11. wib22 says:
    November 19, 2017 at 8:35 pm
    ne is better than pitt in every single category

    pitt struggled with tenn for 3.5 qtrs and tenn stinks!

    ****

    Patriots lost to a declining chiefs team

    __________________________________
    Patriots lost to a good Chiefs team that pulled out all the stops, lined Kelce up in backfield, as WR, at QB once, and introduced Kareem Hunt to the league to add to Tyreek Hill. Lost Eric Berry at the end of that game. Nice try, why not try WATCHING football before you comment on it?

  12. Pats are starting to gel in all 3 phases of the game…. THAT doesn’t bode well for anyone in EITHER conference…..
    Don’t see them losing another game!!

  13. “Cincinnati’s offense is starting to pick up.”
    —————
    Dalton managed 154yds, their top rusher was <50yds – hardly picking up.

  14. The Patriots have not lost a road game since the 2015 AFC Championship game.

    You know we really meant that when we said we wouldn’t lose a game this year. 😉

  15. None of it matters. it will be NE vs Pitt in the champ game and it will just be a matter of where the game is. the rest of the AFC is trash, except maybe the Jags.

  16. I thought Del Rio did a good job last year, and i was really hoping the Raiders could build on that, but then he fired the O-coord and sticks with Norton whos defense has been one of the worst since he has been there.

    the offense has gone to the crapper, and the D is about as bad as everybody thought it would be. does Del Rio come back next year?

  17. The three certainties in life; death, taxes, and the Steelers losing a big game to the Patriots. For some reason it’s always a bad matchup for the Steelers.

  18. Ripcord56 says:
    November 19, 2017 at 8:39 pm
    Pats were a machine today In Mexico City. I don’t think anyone can compete with them until they play the Eagles in the Superbowl. Unless of course the red hot Jags stop them.

    12 10 Rate This

    ————-

    Red hot or not, they struggled with the browns today

  19. Pats fans seem super confident, and perhaps with good reason.
    But I’d caution them that this isn’t the same Steelers team they
    played last season, nor are the Pats for that matter.

    Looking forward to the initial match-up, and hopefully, to meet
    again in January. I hope both teams remain relatively healthy
    so we can see some stellar football when they do meet.
    .

  20. Moudabo says:
    November 19, 2017 at 9:13 pm
    Pats fans seem super confident, and perhaps with good reason.
    But I’d caution them that this isn’t the same Steelers team they
    played last season, nor are the Pats for that matter.

    Looking forward to the initial match-up, and hopefully, to meet
    again in January. I hope both teams remain relatively healthy
    so we can see some stellar football when they do meet.
    .

    0 0 Rate This

    ————-

    it is the same team
    they faced last year

    linebackers are weak and secondary is weak

    they will drop 30 with ease

    and if hogan and mitchell return on time, watch out, it could be 40
    in december on national tv

    steelers and their fans just don’t get it

  21. Remember this guy?

    SerenityNow says:

    August 26, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Raiders 38 Patsies 28…11/19/17…book it…do it…now

    What a poor prediction.

  22. commentawaitingdeletion says:
    November 19, 2017 at 9:12 pm
    The Pittsburgh/New England game will be exciting to be sure and it’s one both team’s fans circle when the schedule comes out but the reality is this is the NFL, there is no game but the next one.

    0 0 Rate This

    ————-

    i don’t think a steamrolling pats club against a mediocre steelers team
    makes for a good matchup at all

    pitt has played no one this year, almost lost to indy and struggled with tenn for 3.5 qtrs

    ne is way, way above indy and tenn

  23. I know the Patriot fans are nervous about the Steelers this season…haven’t seen so many try to discredit the team so much in the same season. Don’t get me wrong, Patriots are the better teamnhntil the Steelers prove they can beat them. The Steelers struggled against the Titans for 3 quarters? Big deal the Steelers won by 23. The Steelers squeaked our some close games against some bad teams but they won…but guess what, the Patriots have also struggled against some bad teams. The game in December should be better and closer then most people expect(barring major injuries)but as a Steeler fan, a win in December is pointless if they lose to the Patriots in January.

  24. wib22 says:
    November 19, 2017 at 8:05 pm
    Jags will send brady into retirement
    ______________________

    The did it to Marino ….. and Coach Hairspray, too

  25. it is the same team
    they faced last year

    linebackers are weak and secondary is weak

    they will drop 30 with ease

    and if hogan and mitchell return on time, watch out, it could be 40
    in december on national tv

    steelers and their fans just don’t get it

    ****

    Your team is known for cheating

  26. tylawspick6 says:
    November 19, 2017 at 8:22 pm
    pats wills dismantle pitt

    how does the media
    completely ignore facts?

    ne is better than pitt in every single category

    pitt struggled with tenn for 3.5 qtrs and tenn stinks!

    ——————

    The pats got pasted by a kc team that stinks. That just lost to the giants today. See how foolish you look now?

  27. wib22 says:
    November 19, 2017 at 9:33 pm
    it is the same team
    they faced last year

    linebackers are weak and secondary is weak

    they will drop 30 with ease

    and if hogan and mitchell return on time, watch out, it could be 40
    in december on national tv

    steelers and their fans just don’t get it

    ****

    Your team is known for cheating
    ————————–
    The Patriots are known for winning & tearing the hearts & souls out of other teams fans…..as well as OWNING the weak minded…..

  28. Must be so frustrating to be Patriot Hater 🙂

    Really no different than the frustration of he weakling at school that gets picked on by the bully all the time 🙂

  29. Poor Buffalo Bills.

    Wade Phillips really did a number on them when he benched Doug Flutie for Rob Johnson despite Flutie taking them to an 11-5 record…and thus put the Curse of Flutie on that franchise. Going on its third decade soon. 🙂

  30. badgersteelerfan says:
    November 19, 2017 at 9:25 pm
    I know the Patriot fans are nervous about the Steelers this season…haven’t seen so many try to discredit the team so much in the same season. Don’t get me wrong, Patriots are the better teamnhntil the Steelers prove they can beat them. The Steelers struggled against the Titans for 3 quarters? Big deal the Steelers won by 23. The Steelers squeaked our some close games against some bad teams but they won…but guess what, the Patriots have also struggled against some bad teams. The game in December should be better and closer then most people expect(barring major injuries)but as a Steeler fan, a win in December is pointless if they lose to the Patriots in January.

    3 2 Rate This

    ——————-
    again, absolutely delusional^^^^^

  31. tylawspick6 says:
    November 19, 2017 at 10:03 pm
    badgersteelerfan says:
    November 19, 2017 at 9:25 pm
    I know the Patriot fans are nervous about the Steelers this season…haven’t seen so many try to discredit the team so much in the same season. Don’t get me wrong, Patriots are the better teamnhntil the Steelers prove they can beat them. The Steelers struggled against the Titans for 3 quarters? Big deal the Steelers won by 23. The Steelers squeaked our some close games against some bad teams but they won…but guess what, the Patriots have also struggled against some bad teams. The game in December should be better and closer then most people expect(barring major injuries)but as a Steeler fan, a win in December is pointless if they lose to the Patriots in January.

    3 2 Rate This

    ——————-
    again, absolutely delusional^^^^^

    Nowhere near delusional. The only delusional people I see are Patriot fans. I didn’t and have never said the Steelers were going to win the game in December but this team is different. The Patriots struggled and in some cases should’ve lost to the Jets, Bucs, Chargers, and Texans. If you can’t see these teams are more evenly matched this season then you are definitely the delusional one.

  32. As a Red Sox fan I’m well aware of how upsets can play out And this year’s Steelers could be the 2004 Red Sox in disguise for all I know. Gotta play the game. I hate the Steelers but they earn their respect year in and year out

  33. I trust the Patriots System over Pittsburgh coaching staff. So in the end the AFC road to the SB will go through Gillette.

  34. This jacksonville defense can play with anybody already proved itself vs Pitt…with the way our pass rush is performing we can shut down any offense top it off Leonard Fournette is a premier back already who can run for 100 and enable the jaguars to control the clock

  35. This jacksonville defense can play with anybody already proved itself vs Pitt…with the way our pass rush is performing we can shut down any offense top it off Leonard Fournette is a premier back already who can run for 100 and enable the jaguars to control the clock
    ***********************************************************

    You barely beat the Chargers last week, and struggled against the abrowns this week until the very end. We get it, you beat the Steelers, but one game does not define a season. You also lost to the Titans.

  36. thesampson777 says:
    November 19, 2017 at 11:45 pm
    This jacksonville defense can play with anybody already proved itself vs Pitt…with the way our pass rush is performing we can shut down any offense top it off Leonard Fournette is a premier back already who can run for 100 and enable the jaguars to control the clock

    Remember last year going into the wildcard game, everyone thought the Steelers had zero chance against the Dolphins because Ajayi had such a great game against them earlier in the season. Steelers handled the Dolphins with ease because the playoffs are a different monster. Also I just read how Fournette’s ankle Is going to be an issue the rest of the season. Still have zero faith in Bortles and him not giving away a playoff game. Don’t kid yourself that you will see Ben have another 5 INT game this season. The receivers are playing better, the line is back at full strength and they will use the run game more. Until the Jags get a new QB they will only be pretenders.

  37. Pats fans look pretty silly bragging about their team’s success, on an article that clearly demonstrates just how awful the AFC competition is this year, as in most years.

  38. patsfan4lifesbchamps says:
    November 19, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    I trust the Patriots System over Pittsburgh coaching staff. So in the end the AFC road to the SB will go through Gillette.
    __________________________________________

    Oh poor chip, not that we want you on board but your life would improve immeasurably if you stopped alternately trolling New England then pretending to be a Pats fan and just came over to the dark side.

  39. The AFC may be down, but Pittsbugh and New England are #2 and #3 in just about every Power Ranking you can find. That includes both conferences.

  40. I thought Raiders/Pats in Mexico would be a good game, especially knowing how the Mexican favored raiders usually get the calls. Then it wasn’t! Pats were finding their way early in the season and now, they’re back on track. Bad news for the AFC. Steelers/Pats could be a good one but (see my second sentence).

    NOTE: I wouldn’t ignore what the Saints are doing in the NFC.

  41. Jags have a real shot at being the #2 or #1 seed. Their remaining schedule is very manageable, with only two winning teams (Seattle at Jax and Jax at Tennessee). If they go 13-3, they would own the tie-breaker against either a 13-3 Pittsburgh team (head-to-head) or a 13-3 Patriots team (better conference record). Of course, Jags have to take care of their own.

    The defense is scary, scary good. For those who are saying Bortles this and that, remember Trent Dilfer won a Superbowl.

  42. Jax were barely hanging on in Cleveland. Despite having 4 turnovers, they only had a 13-7 lead.

    I’m not too sure Jax can score enough to compete with NE or Pitt in the playoffs, but it will be fun to watch.

    The other thing is the loser of the Pitt/NE game isn’t going to be nervous about heading into Jacksonville for a playoff game.

  43. The Jaguars are the only team I worry about facing the Patriots in the Playoffs. Only because of Tom Coughlin… He has been devastating with the game planning.

    The Steelers do no worry me one minute, they always seem to find a way to loose to the Patriots in big games. Until that changes, I have no reason to think otherwise… Everyone else is cannon fodder.

  44. “Pittsburgh has the tiebreaker over New England based on a better conference record.”

    Pointless. Neither has a real tiebreaker advantage right now – each of them has one AFC loss, Pittsburgh has just played one more conference game, which won’t be true when it’s all said and done. In fact, it won’t be true a week from today.

    And, of course, they’ll play on December 17 which, absent the vanishingly small possibility of a tie, will determine the tiebreaker (and almost certainly the HFA throughout the AFC playoffs…)

  45. The NFL’s best defense? The Jaguars.

    No. 1 scoring defense: 14.1 PPG

    No. 1 in total yardage: 275.6 YPG

    No. 1 passing defense: 162.0 YPG

    per Tad Dickman

    2013 Legion of Boom: Passer rating against of 63.4 against. Jaguars: 64.5 Pete Prisco

    No. 1 in sacks: 40

    No. 1 in forced fumbles (13) & fumble recoveries (9)

    No. 3 in INTs: 13

  46. For everyone that says the jags just barely beat the browns you obviously are clueless. There was one drive with some miscommunication that allowed them to score. For the rest of the game it was obvious they had no prayer of scoring. You don’t get cute and fancy in driving sleet and snow with a marginal quarterback, a patchwork oline, and your most reliable wide receiver out just to try and drive up the score to make everyone else feel better when you have that much confidence in your defense. You take what they give you and try not to turn the ball over (which blake still did) and give them a cheap score. #playsmart #strategy

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!