AFC playoff picture: All six teams decided, only seeds to play for

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There’s not a lot of suspense in the AFC playoff picture heading into Week 17.

The six playoff teams will be the Patriots, Raiders, Steelers, Texans, Chiefs and Dolphins. All that’s left to be determined is the seeding of those six teams.

Here’s how it looks right now:

1. Patriots (13-2): Have clinched a first-round bye and will clinch home-field advantage with a win or a Raiders loss.

2. Raiders (12-3): Need to win or have the Chiefs lose next week to clinch the AFC West.

3. Steelers: (10-5): Locked into the No. 3 seed, based on the strength of victory tiebreaker over the Texans.

4. Texans (9-6): Locked into the No. 4 seed.

5. Chiefs (11-4): Can still catch the Raiders in the AFC West, with a win and an Oakland loss.

6. Dolphins (10-5): Would move up to the No. 5 seed with a win and a Chiefs loss. Otherwise Miami is the No. 6 seed.

64 responses to “AFC playoff picture: All six teams decided, only seeds to play for

  1. Again, its time to start seeding based on record instead of winning a meaningless division.
    Only 6 games are played against divisional foes, so a divisional title is no great accomplishment. Its very sad that a 12-4 Raiders or Chiefs team will be seeded lower and have to travel to a likely 9-7 Texans squad.

  2. .
    Two questions :

    1. Will the Broncos play hard against the Raiders in Denver next week, or have they already packed their bags?

    2. What kind of effort will the Chargers give their beleaguered coach McCoy? Isn’t this the type of game where Andy Reid spits the bit?
    .

  3. Odd, but the Patriots have more to play for than the Dolphins. Belichick is a master at seeding but blew it last year by losing out on the number one seed.

    Who would you rather play aftera bye week:

    1. The winner of the Dolphin v Pittsburgh game, or

    2. The winner of KC/Oak v Houston

    If I am Bill I play for home field advantage throughout the playoffs and avoid two explosive teams in Pittsburgh and Miami. KC is tough but Bill can take Kelce out of the game and KC can’t win without him. Oakland without Carr is diminished.

  4. If I am Adam Gase I have to decide whether I should rest key plaers in week 17, including the only QB left and my workhorse running back for , or do I mimic Tom Coughlin and play it like it’s our sper bowl?

    I am interested to see what he does.

  5. tigerlilac says:
    Dec 26, 2016 6:43 AM
    Odd, but the Patriots have more to play for than the Dolphins. Belichick is a master at seeding but blew it last year by losing out on the number one seed.
    ———————————
    It’s not that odd, such things quite often crop up in playoff permutations. Secondly, you are forgetting that the Pats were the most banged-up team last year (along with the Giants, but the Giants weren’t making the playoffs because of it whereas the Pats were). Belichick was marshalling precious resources through those last two regular games last year – and despite starting the season with the talent-drain that strips many SB teams of their chance to repeat, despite all the subsequent injuries, some BS calls & no-calls by refs, and the barrage of hate from Fruadgate, he came within a play of making it back to the SB.

  6. First let me say that I am sorry for all the Raider fans. Haven’t been a Patriots fan since 1978, I know what it is like to root for a team that sucks for long periods of time. Losing Derek Carr just kills them. I know the Raider fans are going to Rally behind Matt McGloin but let’s be honest they’re not going anywhere with him and my point is I am not at all worried about having to go to Oakland if they somehow win their first round playoff game. That being said, I would much rather New England just play full bore and win the game down South Beach.

  7. I would like to see another wrinkle added where even if a team wins its division it still has to be over .500.

    8-8 (or worse) doesn’t get in, next man up.

  8. tigerlilac says:
    Dec 26, 2016 6:43 AM
    Odd, but the Patriots have more to play for than the Dolphins. Belichick is a master at seeding but blew it last year by losing out on the number one seed.

    Who would you rather play aftera bye week:

    1. The winner of the Dolphin v Pittsburgh game, or

    2. The winner of KC/Oak v Houston

    If I am Bill I play for home field advantage throughout the playoffs and avoid two explosive teams in Pittsburgh and Miami. KC is tough but Bill can take Kelce out of the game and KC can’t win without him. Oakland without Carr is diminished.

    That’s not how it works. NE plays the lowest seeded team to win in the wild card round. Therefore they play Miami if they won in Pittsburgh. NE cannot play Pittsburgh in rd 2.
    25 5

  9. “Its very sad that a 12-4 Raiders or Chiefs team will be seeded lower and have to travel to a likely 9-7 Texans squad.”

    Well if they didn’t want to travel they should have won their division. Stop trying to fix what isn’t broken. It’s fine the way it is.

  10. I’m just still shocked that the Titans managed to stay in the hunt until week 15… With Carr’s injury, kind of makes you wonder what might have been…

  11. will denver lay down next week thus allowing oakland to win and get the bye, as payback for the poe touchdown christmas night……will goodell rig the gb det game so that the packers are in the playoffs? …..will hacksaw jim duggan come flying off the sideline and smash a ref in the face with a 2 x 4?????

  12. Hats off to Andy Reid. I just think his sideline coaching and offensive play calling is as good as I’ve seen since Joe Gibbs.

  13. Wait, FlaccoJumpBall has been claiming all season that the Ravens own the NFL and will win the SB. What gives here….I don’t see them listed?

  14. Dolphins already took care of Pittsburgh once this year, shouldn’t be a problem in the playoffs either. The Texans are a complete joke. Might as well give their opponent a bye week.

  15. Very surprised over the downvotes regarding division winners. The benefit to winning the division is to ensure a playoff spot but they shouldn’t be rewarded a home game as well. The Texans should be the 6th seed if the season ended today. You can’t possibly say that the AFCW wasn’t the best division in the NFL this year. Even SD would be in the picture had they not blown l those 4Q leads. Plus the AFCS is always terrible.

  16. Practice saying this for next few weeks “how about those chiefs”… got a feeling your going to hear it a few more times from big red in the post game locker room.

  17. canetic says:
    Dec 26, 2016 9:34 AM
    Dolphins already took care of Pittsburgh once this year, shouldn’t be a problem in the playoffs either. The Texans are a complete joke. Might as well give their opponent a bye week.

    ———–
    Let’s be real here….the Dolphins have had a nice little run but they will be one-and -done once they play the Steelers.

  18. nhpats says:
    Dec 26, 2016 9:26 AM
    Wait, FlaccoJumpBall has been claiming all season that the Ravens own the NFL and will win the SB. What gives here….I don’t see them listed?

    5 1
    Report comment

    Obsession is awful. I could have very easily called you out during the Ravens/Steelers game when the Ravens were smashing them. Ravens were victims of bad luck and a game or two of unethical tactics. But last night was a much better game than the Pats will play the rest of the year. It’s going to be fun to watch your team get nailed again for deflating footballs

  19. According to Flaccojumpball the Ravens were guaranteed to win the Super Bowl this year but somethings wrong…they don’t seem to be listed among the AFC playoff teams.

    And of course he’s been hiding since last night. I doubt we’ll hear from him for a few days and then he’ll be proclaiming all kinds of wild things about the other teams that have no basis in reality.

  20. Still don’t know how the Titans can beat so many top teams only to lose to the Jaguars with the playoffs on the line.

  21. tigerlilac says:
    Dec 26, 2016 6:43 AM

    Odd, but the Patriots have more to play for than the Dolphins. Belichick is a master at seeding but blew it last year by losing out on the number one seed.

    Who would you rather play aftera bye week:

    1. The winner of the Dolphin v Pittsburgh game, or

    2. The winner of KC/Oak v Houston

    If I am Bill I play for home field advantage throughout the playoffs and avoid two explosive teams in Pittsburgh and Miami. KC is tough but Bill can take Kelce out of the game and KC can’t win without him. Oakland without Carr is diminished.

    ————-

    Definitely would take the winner of the KC/Oak v Houston game. Steelers defense is nothing great,but that offense is explosive. Miami is no pushover,either,with or without Tannehill. I agree with you completely on your post. Go for home field advantage.

  22. That’s not how it works. NE plays the lowest seeded team to win in the wild card round. Therefore they play Miami if they won in Pittsburgh. NE cannot play Pittsburgh in rd 2.
    ———–
    Not true. NE hasn’t clinched the 1 seed yet. NE could play PIT in round 2 if NE ends up with the 2 seed.

  23. refshavegottogo says:
    Dec 26, 2016 8:55 AM
    “Its very sad that a 12-4 Raiders or Chiefs team will be seeded lower and have to travel to a likely 9-7 Texans squad.”

    Well if they didn’t want to travel they should have won their division. Stop trying to fix what isn’t broken. It’s fine the way it is.
    ————————
    Plus the Chefs lost to the Texans.

  24. Last years SB teams out? NY, Jump ball out #1 cheater team Broncos out, yet look up and there are the Pats. Draft at the bottom every year yet they are in the hunt must get boring for them.

  25. Pats have been the most consistent team, with home field it will be very difficult for any opponent.

    Steelers may be best suited for a win in Foxborough, but that hasn’t happened in a while.

    Chiefs gave the Pats a good fight last year, yet they have fallen asleep in a few games this year.

    I don’t see the Fins making that type of run.

    The Texans have a great D, but the qb situation is weak.

    Which leaves the Raiders as the biggest question mark heading. into the playoffs. McGloin has essentially two weeks to figure things out. The Raiders have that front line to stick with the run , but to win in the playoffs a qb must make the throws.

    Pats win the AFC. Too bad, a Carr lead Raiders would be must see tv in Foxborough.

  26. “Assuming KC holds onto the 5 seed, Houston could be the largest home underdog ever.”

    No way they are bigger underdogs then the 7-9 Seahawks vs the 11-5 Saints or the 8-8 Broncos vs the 12-4 Steelers.

  27. The 345 Slime Avenue cartel did their best to tilt the playing field in favor of the field this year.
    They thought making Brady sit for four games would be sufficient to handicap the league in favor of the other 31.

    We shall see, but so far the charlatans who occupy 345 Fraud Avenue wouldn’t last a day as handicappers for any sports book.

    Incidentally, the last time the little fishies down south won a playoff game was 12-30-2000.
    Their chances got a lot better with Tanny Boy getting hurt but I wouldn’t bet on them being anything but a one-and-done. Football Gods are still angry from all of Shula’s blatant cheating over the years.

  28. iamsmarterthanall says:
    Dec 26, 2016 6:33 AM
    Again, its time to start seeding based on record instead of winning a meaningless division.
    Only 6 games are played against divisional foes, so a divisional title is no great accomplishment. Its very sad that a 12-4 Raiders or Chiefs team will be seeded lower and have to travel to a likely 9-7 Texans squad.

    ________________________________________

    Seriously? Win your division. As you say, it’s only 6 games. And the Raiders have a lock on at least #2, so they won’t travel to Houston anyway. Chiefs? They are a wildcard, why should they get a home game. WIN YOUR DIVISION. And stop crying.

  29. “There are way too many patriot Homer’s on this site.”

    You don’t need an apostrophe there, Sparky. You’re typing a plural noun, not a possessive noun.

  30. jchipwood says:
    Dec 26, 2016 10:02 AM
    There are way too many Patriots Homer’s on this site.
    =================

    Only 37 posts as I type this chipster. Just trot out all your different screen names and you will have them outnumbered in no time.

  31. The Steelers are Pat haters only hope. I would give The Chiefs a slim chance if they have their pass rushers healthy.

  32. flaccojumpball says:
    Dec 26, 2016 9:51 AM
    nhpats says:
    Dec 26, 2016 9:26 AM
    Wait, FlaccoJumpBall has been claiming all season that the Ravens own the NFL and will win the SB. What gives here….I don’t see them listed?

    5 1
    Report comment

    Obsession is awful. I could have very easily called you out during the Ravens/Steelers game when the Ravens were smashing them. Ravens were victims of bad luck and a game or two of unethical tactics. But last night was a much better game than the Pats will play the rest of the year. It’s going to be fun to watch your team get nailed again for deflating footballs

    ———-
    You mean last night’s game when the Ravens choked….again? And what “unethical tactics”? Nobody needs to cheat to beat the Ravens….they have an inept coach and a mediocre QB. Face facts, they just aren’t very good. And they will miss the playoffs this season…..again. Enjoy the long offseason son.

  33. jchipwood says:
    Dec 26, 2016 10:02 AM
    There are way too many patriot Homer’s on this site.

    ——-
    Then there is you…..the lone Dolphins fan with 27 IDs….

  34. flaccojumpball says:
    Dec 26, 2016 9:51 AM

    Ravens were victims of bad luck and a game or two of unethical tactics.
    ————————————————————–
    You mean the Ravens benefitted from the unethical tactic of holding every defensive player in order to beat Cincinnati?

    100% guaranteed that rule will be changed for next season to prevent this kind of BS play from happening.

  35. Miami ain’t sitting anyone we’re playing for the 5th seed and NE is playing for home field throughout if you think the Dolphins are just going to lay down you’re nuts. That 5th seed would give Miami a totally different bracket

  36. “But last night was a much better game than the Pats will play the rest of the year. It’s going to be fun to watch your team get nailed again for deflating footballs”

    Its hilarious anyone still thinks the Pats actually deflated those balls and cheated.

    The final nail in the Goodells framegate lies were the refusal to release PSI info from last year and the Steelers having balls that deflated to levels under where the Pats were but appropriate for the temp they were in.

    Anyone living in a cold weather state has been getting low pressure warnings for their tires. The footballs come with instructions that actually state they lose PSI in cold weather but the handful of fools out there that still think this was done intentionally just keep humiliating themselves with this claim.

    SMH surely you can do better than that.

  37. harrisonhits2 says:
    Dec 26, 2016 11:11 AM
    “But last night was a much better game than the Pats will play the rest of the year. It’s going to be fun to watch your team get nailed again for deflating footballs”

    Its hilarious anyone still thinks the Pats actually deflated those balls and cheated.

    The final nail in the Goodells framegate lies were the refusal to release PSI info from last year and the Steelers having balls that deflated to levels under where the Pats were but appropriate for the temp they were in.

    Anyone living in a cold weather state has been getting low pressure warnings for their tires. The footballs come with instructions that actually state they lose PSI in cold weather but the handful of fools out there that still think this was done intentionally just keep humiliating themselves with this claim.

    SMH surely you can do better than that.

    ———-
    Flaccojumpball was a blowhard this entire season….now he needs to hope some real team can somehow take down the Patriots….

  38. “Still don’t know how the Titans can beat so many top teams only to lose to the Jaguars with the playoffs on the line.”

    Their whole season has been brief moments of brilliance AND unmitigated disaster, usually in every game.

  39. I’m sorry, but the hurdle for Dolphins to get the 5th and not 6th seed requires them to beat NE, Oakland to win, and KC to lose to SD. The probability of all of that has to be less than 5%. Gase needs to make a decision on how to play their last game of the season knowing that if Moore or Ajayi get dinged up in that game their chances of beating Pittsburgh are diminished.

  40. bjwbrown2011 says:
    Dec 26, 2016 10:32 AM
    “Assuming KC holds onto the 5 seed, Houston could be the largest home underdog ever.”

    No way they are bigger underdogs then the 7-9 Seahawks vs the 11-5 Saints or the 8-8 Broncos vs the 12-4 Steelers.
    =======

    It’ll be close. Both of those teams were playing better at the end of those seasons than Houston is now, and both of those teams were (and are) considered to have much larger home field advantages than the Texans. There will be at least 20k Chiefs fans in that stadium.

    You may be fooled by the Texans’ record, but Vegas won’t be.

  41. igotgamenj says:
    Dec 26, 2016 11:08 AM
    Miami ain’t sitting anyone we’re playing for the 5th seed and NE is playing for home field throughout if you think the Dolphins are just going to lay down you’re nuts. That 5th seed would give Miami a totally different bracket
    =======

    I don’t think people expect them to lay down, I just think people expect them to get curb stomped by a Patriots team that will still be trying to clinch the #1 seed.

  42. orivar says:
    Dec 26, 2016 12:23 PM

    if only the Titans won because once again we’re stuck with the crappy Texans to go one-and-done

    ——————

    Yeah, cause Matt Cassel was gonna lead them to the promise land. Moron.

  43. Not saying the Dolphins are gonna beat the Pats, but a) the game is in Miami, b) with far worse teams, the dolphins in Miami are not an easy win for the Pats. The Fins have split the season series the past three years. For his career, Brady is 6-8 @ when playing in Miami. Dolphins have far more to possibly gain than the Patriots have to lose. I wouldn’t write off Miami just yet.

  44. lukedunphysscienceproject says:
    Dec 26, 2016 12:16 PM
    bjwbrown2011 says:
    Dec 26, 2016 10:32 AM
    “Assuming KC holds onto the 5 seed, Houston could be the largest home underdog ever.”

    No way they are bigger underdogs then the 7-9 Seahawks vs the 11-5 Saints or the 8-8 Broncos vs the 12-4 Steelers.
    =======

    It’ll be close. Both of those teams were playing better at the end of those seasons than Houston is now, and both of those teams were (and are) considered to have much larger home field advantages than the Texans. There will be at least 20k Chiefs fans in that stadium.

    You may be fooled by the Texans’ record, but Vegas won’t be.
    —————————–
    Will Vegas remember the Texans already beat the Chefs this year with Brock at QB? If there are 20k Chef fans that leaves about 60k Texans fans. No Chefs advantage there either.

  45. The Steelers have won 1 playoff game in the last 5 years. Why do they get so much respect? The Steelers go one and done against Miami.

  46. Will Vegas remember the Texans already beat the Chefs this year with Brock at QB? If there are 20k Chef fans that leaves about 60k Texans fans. No Chefs advantage there either.

    _________
    They will also remember that ugly texans shut out in the Wild Card game last year.

  47. After week 4 nobody would have thought Miami would have a winning season let alone make it to the playoffs as a wildcard. I think their rookie head coach Adam Gase has done a good job with them already beyond expectations leading them this far. They have had a lot of injuries to their starters this season, seemed like almost half of them.

    But….

    NE & Dallas will be in the Superbowl.

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