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AFC Playoff Picture After Week 14

December 12th, 2012 at 8:00 AM
By Spencer Frenchman

The Patriots may have dominated Monday night's matchup with the Houston Texans but the Texans still hold the best record and therefore the number one seed in the AFC.

1. Houston (11-2)

2. New England (10-3)

3. Denver (10-3)

4. Baltimore (9-4)

5. Indianapolis (9-4)

6. Pittsburg (7-6)

In the hunt: Cincinnati (7-6), New York Jets (6-7)

Cleveland, San Diego, Buffalo, and Miami are all technically still alive at 5-7 but would need nothing short of a miracle to jump over 3 teams and sneak into the playoffs.

Having defeated the Broncos earlier this year, the Patriots control their own destiny in the hunt for a first round bye and the number two overall seed.  

Houston currently holds the number one seed with a one game lead over the Broncos and the Patriots.  However they have a tough remaining schedule with three games against potential playoff teams including the Colts twice and a game at home against the Vikings. 

On the other hand, the Patriots and Broncos have relatively easy remaining schedules with just one game against potential playoff teams. 

Remaining Schedules

Texans: Colts (9-4), Vikings (7-6), at Colts (9-4)

Patriots: 49ers (9-3-1), at Jaguars (2-11), Dolphins (5-8)

Broncos: at Ravens (9-4), Browns (5-8), Chiefs (2-11)

Ravens: Broncos (10-3), Giants (8-5), Bengals (7-6)

Colts: at Texans (11-2), at Chiefs (2-11), Texans (11-2)

Steelers: at Cowboys (7-6), Bengals (7-6), Browns (5-8)

Bengals: at Eagles (4-9), at Steelers (7-6), Ravens (9-4)

If the Patriots can beat the 49ers at home Sunday night they should have no problem winning their final two games against inferior opponents and clinch a first round bye. 

The winner of the SteelersBengals week 16 contest will likely determine the 6th AFC playoff team.  The Steelers won 24-17 when the teams met for the first time earlier this year.

The Ravens will need a win against the Broncos this Sunday to remain in the hunt for a first round bye.

Tags: afc playoff, bengals, broncos, Football, New England, New England Patriots, NFL, ravens, Steelers, Texans

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