It was a good week for the top teams in the AFC playoff race, which means it was a bad week for everyone giving chase.
With five winners among the six teams that were in playoff position heading into Week 13 (the only loss coming on Sunday night, when two playoff teams met in Pittsburgh), the top teams this week are the same as the top teams last week. And they’re getting more separation from the teams on the outside looking in.
Here’s how the race looks after Week 13:
1. Kansas City (10-2): The Chiefs appear to be marching toward home-field advantage.
2. New England (9-3): Owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over both Kansas City and Houston.
3. Houston (9-3): A three-game lead in the AFC South with four games to play.
4. Pittsburgh (7-4-1): Still leading the division, but a first-round playoff bye is probably unrealistic at this point.
5. L.A. Chargers (9-3): The overwhelming favorites in the wild card race, but can they catch the Chiefs in the AFC West?
6. Baltimore (7-5): Now 3-0 since Joe Flacco got hurt.
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
7. Miami (6-6): Owns the AFC record tiebreaker over Indianapolis and Denver based on AFC record.
8. Indianapolis (6-6): Losing to the Jaguars was a big blow to their playoff hopes
9. Denver (6-6): They’ll probably have to win out to make the playoffs, but the way they’ve been playing lately, that’s entirely possible.
10. Tennessee (6-6): The tiebreaker scenarios aren’t kind to the Titans.
11. Cincinnati (5-7): With Andy Dalton out for the season, their playoff hopes have gone from slim to none.
12. Cleveland (4-7-1): They’re making progress, but not playoff contenders yet.
13. Buffalo (4-8): Certainly not a playoff team, but the Bills are playing better than most expected.
14. Jacksonville (4-8): Last year’s defense finally showed up again.
15. N.Y. Jets (3-9): Todd Bowles is coaching out the string now.
16. Oakland (2-10): Gruden’s guys are playing for the first pick in the draft.