AFC playoff picture: Chargers make the AFC West a race

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The Chargers’ comeback win over the Chiefs on Thursday night created a tie atop the AFC West.

The bad news for the Chargers is, the Chiefs still own the tiebreaker, and only have to win out to clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. That would require the Chargers to win on the road three times in January to make it to the Super Bowl.

So the Chargers will be trying to win out, and hoping the Chiefs lose at least one of their last two games. Here’s how the AFC playoff race looks after Thursday night.

LEADERS
1. Chiefs (11-3): Win the tiebreaker with the Chargers based on better AFC West record.

2. Patriots (9-4): They’re still heavy favorites in the AFC East heading into Sunday’s big game in Pittsburgh.

3. Texans (9-4): Could clinch the AFC South as soon as this week, if they win and the Colts and Titans lose.

4. Steelers (7-5-1): A big game at home against the Patriots looms.

5. Chargers (11-3): Tied in the AFC West, but they need to win out while the Chiefs lose or tie one of their last two games.

6. Ravens (7-6): They remain the top wild card team, and have a good chance of catching the Steelers in the division. The Ravens own the tiebreaker over Miami based on common games, and over Indianapolis based on AFC games.

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
7. Colts (7-6): Win the head-to-head tiebreaker over Miami and Tennessee.

8. Dolphins (7-6): Playoff hopes are still alive.

9. Titans (7-6): Tiebreaker scenarios aren’t great for Tennessee.

10. Broncos (6-7): Their playoff hopes are slim.

11. Browns (5-7-1): It may be too little too late, but give Cleveland credit for getting things in the right direction.

12. Bengals (5-8): Marvin Lewis can do no better than .500 this season.

13. Bills (4-9): After making the playoffs last year, they’re not even close this year.

14. Jaguars (4-9): From the AFC Championship Game to out of contention.

15. Jets (4-9): Todd Bowles’ guys are still playing hard, even though they won’t save his job.

16. Raiders (3-10): Still playing hard, but long out of playoff contention.

20 responses to “AFC playoff picture: Chargers make the AFC West a race

  1. Would you look at Cleveland? From the absolute bottom to 11th in the conference, with three more games to play. And don’t forget, they have a better record right now than the Bengals. Talk about the little engine that could. I mean that sincerely. There might be light at the end of that tunnel. Congrats to Browns fans.

  2. Jets playing hard. But roll back a few weeks ago when blown out by the Bills at home led by Matt Barkley who walked in off the street. Playing hard on Sunday is one thing. Working hard during the week and making sacrifices is another. As a Junior Seau and many other great players have said “..they pay me to practice, I play for free..” In defense of Todd Bowles he was dealt an atrocious hand with Mike Maccagnan as the General Manager. The team playing hard is commendable. The lack of talent is not and that falls squarely on Maccagnan. Signing a center in free-agency who can’t shotgun snap is (his finger injury only made what was bad, worse). The guy is a talent picker, not a team builder and in this he isn’t a good talent picker so there is no redeeming quality. Picking Jamal Adams at # 6 and Darnold at # 3 isn’t arcane personnel science. If Jets don’t fire him they prove they have no idea especially when he has proven he can’t manage relationship with his Head Coach and a main force in the dysfunctional culture there. Jets should have fired him last year. Can’t make same mistake twice.

  3. If Miami wins out and gets to 10-6 that will toss a big wrench into the scenario. I would like to see if NE can get somewhere having to go on road and also play away from Foxboro.

  4. The Dolphins deserve some credit. They were supposed to win 4 games or less according to the expert pundits. They are the 2nd most injured team behind the Redskins. The Head Coach is the worst Play-Caller. They lead the league in Pre-Snap Penalties. I could go on about adversity, but won’t. Unfortunately, it will be another 8-8 or 9-7 year when they miss the Playoffs. Then nothing gets changed and we rinse and repeat next year. The only good thing they did is prove Lamar Miller, Jarvis Landry, Suh, Olivier Vernon, Jay Ajayi, etc. can all be replaced with much less expensive players and stilll do the same or marginally improve. Cap healthy is a thing.

  5. From the look of things all the division leaders need to win out to ensure their position in the playoffs, and they’re all hoping other top teams will lose at least one more.

  6. tajuara says:
    December 14, 2018 at 6:39 am
    As impressive as the Chiefs and Mahomes have been I honestly don’t think that they can make a playoff run outside of Arrowhead.

    —————

    It could be KC at NE in the divisional round if the Chargers take the first seed.

  7. finzfan49 says:
    December 14, 2018 at 9:37 am
    If Miami wins out and gets to 10-6 that will toss a big wrench into the scenario. I would like to see if NE can get somewhere having to go on road and also play away from Foxboro.
    —————————————————————-
    Don’t fall for that bozo’s crap about Patriots not winning a road playoff game since 2006, he doesn’t bother to mention they’ve only played 2 since then, both in Denver against Peyton Manning. Patriots have a 4-7 record in Denver, 4-2 at home, 8-9 overall. You’d be better off looking at the teams and stadiums they’d play in and their record in those stadiums.

  8. finzfan49 says:
    December 14, 2018 at 9:37 am
    If Miami wins out and gets to 10-6 that will toss a big wrench into the scenario. I would like to see if NE can get somewhere having to go on road and also play away from Foxboro.

    ————–

    Huge game for both Minn and Miami this week.

  9. My predictions…

    Texans make it.
    The Steelers don’t
    The Ravens don’t.
    The schedules favor Miami and Indianapolis. Even if Miami loses to Minnesota.

    If Miami loses Jax or Buffalo, all bets are off. Even if they beat Minnesota.

  10. ironsides says:
    My predictions…
    The Steelers don’t
    The Ravens don’t.

    Do you know how division championships work?

  11. ironsides says:
    December 14, 2018 at 10:51 am
    My predictions…

    Texans make it.
    The Steelers don’t
    The Ravens don’t.
    —————

    Are you suggesting the Browns or Bengals will win the division? The Browns are on a roll, but willing out and having everyone else in the division lose out is a stretch, even for a Browns fan. Possible yes, but highly improbable

  12. Nothing to do with the playoffs but I think the Raiders are going to beat the Bengals on Sunday. If that happens Marvin Lewis should be leaving the team facilities that evening with a bunch of boxes under his arms.

    If not he must have some pics of the owner.

  13. I need to proof read my posts.

    My predictions…

    Texans make it.
    Steelers make it.

    Ravens don’t.
    Titans don’t
    The schedules favor Miami and Indianapolis. Even if Miami loses to Minnesota.

    If Miami loses Jax or Buffalo, all bets are off. Even if they beat Minnesota.

  14. switchwitch59 says:
    December 14, 2018 at 10:19 am

    Don’t fall for that bozo’s crap about Patriots not winning a road playoff game since 2006, he doesn’t bother to mention they’ve only played 2 since then, both in Denver against Peyton Manning. Patriots have a 4-7 record in Denver, 4-2 at home, 8-9 overall. You’d be better off looking at the teams and stadiums they’d play in and their record in those stadiums.
    Yea except there Defense is the worst its been in Brady ERA this year and the Patsies are 3-4 on the road this year staring 3-5 in the face.

    These aren’t the same old Pats sorry and they have proven this current team is bad on the road.

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