AFC playoff picture: It’s showdown time

Getty Images

The Steelers rallied back on Sunday night to beat the Ravens, but the Patriots couldn’t do the same in Miami on Monday night.

That means the Steelers have clinched a division title while the Patriots still need to put the finishing touches on the AFC East. It also means that the Steelers can wrap up the top seed in the conference with a win and a Jaguars loss in Week 15.

As you’re probably aware, they’ll need to beat the Patriots in order to do that and that ensures that the fireworks Mike Tomlin talked about recently will be in full effect at Heinz Field.

LEADERS
1. Steelers (11-2): The Steelers haven’t beaten the Patriots since 2011, which makes this a fine time to snap that losing streak.

2. Patriots (10-3): They’ll have Rob Gronkowski back as they try to take the tiebreaker over the Steelers.

3. Jaguars (9-4): This is the latest they’ve been in first place in the division since 2009, although clinching before Week 17 will take help from the Titans.

4. Chiefs (7-6): With their losing streak over, the Chiefs now try to solidify control of the AFC West against the Chargers.

5. Titans (8-5): Avoiding a loss to the suddenly competent 49ers is essential to keeping their division title hopes alive.

6. Bills (7-6): Surviving the snow made for more than a pretty picture as it also bumped them ahead of the Ravens and Chargers in the Wild Card hunt.

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
7. Ravens (7-6): If they don’t make the playoffs, blowing an 11-point lead on Sunday night will haunt them.

8. Chargers (7-6): The path to the division title is as easy as winning their final three games.

9. Raiders (6-7): Losing to the Chiefs was bad, but the way they lost was even worse.

10. Dolphins (6-7): It’s probably too late to matter, but the Dolphins played their best football of the year this week.

11. Jets (5-8): Josh McCown‘s broken hand and a flop in Denver mean it’s officially time to play out the string.

12. Bengals (5-8): A tough loss in Week 13 was followed by a disaster in Week 14.

13. Texans (4-9): What would they have been with better injury luck?

14. Broncos (4-9): They snapped their eight-game losing streak with an impressive defensive performance.

15. Colts (3-10): It was tough to see the Colts in their latest loss thanks to white uniforms in the snow and camouflage wouldn’t be a bad idea in general until the team can find a better formula.

16. Browns (0-13): The Browns came close to a win, but it looks the same as a blowout in the standings.

27 responses to “AFC playoff picture: It’s showdown time

  1. If Baltimore or SD slip into the playoffs, it might be better to be a 2-seed than a 1-seed in the AFC playoffs.

    As a Steelers fan, I’d rather play the Titans/Chiefs winner than the Jags vs Balt/SD (assuming Buffalo doesn’t advance) winner.

    I’d also like to see that Jags/Balt/SD winner go to Foxboro.

    Homefield advantage is obviously great, but I feel like match-ups are more important.

  2. As much as I hate to say it, it would nice to see the Pats have to play on the road in January for a change.
    Which means I have to root for the Steelers and it really does pain me to say so only because my brother is a Steelers fan. The sibling rivalry thing, you know the deal.Please don’t tell him.

  3. As a Bills fan, it is exciting to see them in the 6th seed. However, it is deceiving, as the only reason they currently are 6th is because they haven’t played enough games for the common opponents tiebreaker to take affect. When it does, they wont beat out the ravens in a tie.

    There’s a lot going on with all the different scenarios that could happen but it starts with winning next week vs. the (suddenly competitive) Dolphins. Going to be an interesting finish to the season in the AFC!

  4. flakeybiscuits says:
    December 12, 2017 at 8:56 am
    As a Bills fan, it is exciting to see them in the 6th seed. However, it is deceiving, as the only reason they currently are 6th is because they haven’t played enough games for the common opponents tiebreaker to take affect. When it does, they wont beat out the ravens in a tie.

    There’s a lot going on with all the different scenarios that could happen but it starts with winning next week vs. the (suddenly competitive) Dolphins. Going to be an interesting finish to the season in the AFC!
    ________________________________________
    Glad you made this point. Ravens are also in great shape considering their remaining schedule consists of the Browns, Indy and Cincy. I honestly think the Bills’ best chance is for Tennessee to lose 2 of 3 because their schedule still has the Rams and the Jags in it. We gotta take down Miami twice, which will prove to be very difficult I’m sure.

  5. phinatic29 says:
    December 12, 2017 at 8:13 am
    Patriots are overrated.
    you can do this Steelers Dolphins gave you the bluprint.

    Christ!! The old “blue print” yeah that always works.
    I thought the giants gave the “blue print” in 07?

    The Steelers play a totally different style of Defense
    That stupid zone blitz and with Shazier out they have absolutely ZERO speed at LB

    Not to mention Brady carves them up even when the Steelers are at full strength on D.

  6. The pats just got crushed by the dolphins and got NO DEFENSE. The Steelers D wasn’t up to par last week too. The difference in this weeks game is Big Ben, Leveon Bell and Antonio Brown at home. There’s no stopping these guys. Steelers win!!!!

  7. Everyone here is acting the it was the end of the world for the Pats, and that Brady has never had a stinker of a game in Miami (he has had 9 of them). How have those previous stinkers affected the number of Super Bowl titles?

    Next week is a new week, and it will probably decide home field.

  8. Stats are facts: Brady’s record on the road following a home loss are an astounding 15-0. That’s pretty damn impressive.

    Google the article if you don’t believe it.

  9. The Steelers defense has slipped after losing both Joe Haden and now, Ryan Shazier.
    The Steelers had made improvements to their D that I thought would take them past the Pats this year. But I don’t know now. However, on the other side, I thought Big Ben had slipped, but he is playing like a first ballot HOF QB. And AB is one of the best ever at wideout. Bell does it all, fantastic hands, great blitz protector. The Steelers can do it, but Gronk will be back.

  10. Stats are facts: Brady’s record on the road following a home loss are an astounding 15-0. That’s pretty damn impressive.

    Google the article if you don’t believe it.
    ————–
    This doesn’t apply really since he just lost on the road, not at home.

  11. “This is the latest they’ve been in first place in the division since 2009, although clinching before Week 17 will take help from the Titans.”

    This is incorrect. Jags are in with a win. The Titans game doesn’t matter

  12. Calm down folks, New England has been in this spot before. In 2010, they laid an egg against Cleveland and the haters were ecstatic. The following week, they went into Pittsburgh and won big in a prime time game. Gronk had 3 receiving TDs.

  13. codylaws says:
    December 12, 2017 at 8:25 am

    Gronk needs to be suspended for 2 more games for cheap shot.
    ———————–

    Actually, since Bennett didn’t get suspended for his numerous cheap shots at the end of the Seahawks last game, Gronk shouldn’t have been suspended either.

  14. Play of the week. Jimmy Garopollo moneyline. We went from destroying the seahawks and jaguars to we cant score more than 7 points at arizona. Your welcome. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  15. The Best thing that can happen for football, Is that Brady plays just as bad as last week. If that happens, consider his career over.

Leave a Reply

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