AFC Playoff Picture After Week 12

Written by: Nate Wyrsch

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Lamar Jackson throws ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers

With the NFL Postseason approaching quickly, here is how the playoffs currently stand in the AFC:

1 Seed: Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens currently sit at the top of the playoff race in the AFC. They lead the AFC North with a 9-3 record. Lamar Jackson and Zay Flowers have been a very effective duo, and are coming on at the right time as they move on without Mark Andrews. The defense has also been playing well all year. They will be on a Bye Week this week and will face the Rams in Week 14.

2 Seed: Kansas City Chiefs

The reigning Super Bowl champions currently sit in second place in the AFC. They lead the AFC West with an 8-3 record. The Chiefs have already had their bye week, and face the Packers next. Kansas City will be looking for more receivers to step up. They struggled against the Eagles and had several big drops, but Rashee Rice had a very big game in a victory against the Raiders on Sunday. They will hope he can break out and establish himself as a true top receiver to complement Travis Kelce as they gear up for another playoff run.

3 Seed: Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars are looking to win the AFC South again. They currently sit at 8-3 and are coming off a big divisional win against the Texans. The Jaguars look very good all around and have a much better rushing attack than they did last season. In 2023, they won the division with a 9-8 record, but they are looking like they will finish much better than that. The Jaguars only have one more divisional game left, Week 18 against the Titans. Next week they will host the Bengals, which can be an impactful matchup in the remainder of the playoff race.

4 Seed: Miami Dolphins

Like the Jaguars and Chiefs, the Dolphins also lead their division with an 8-3 record. The Dolphins' defense has improved since getting Jalen Ramsey back, and they still have one of the best offenses in the league. The Dolphins have to start to improve while playing other playoff teams, as they have not yet beaten anyone holding a playoff spot at the moment. Miami plays Washington next week and will look to improve to 9-3 and battle the Ravens for the top spot.

5 Seed: Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers currently hold the 5th spot in the playoff race with a 7-4 record. Pittsburgh is just coming off firing their Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada. This move looks like it was needed as Kenny Pickett and the rest of the offense have struggled all year. Against the Bengals, they were able to move the ball down the field but still struggled to put the ball in the endzone. The Steelers will look to battle the Ravens for the top spot in the AFC North and still have a game remaining against Baltimore.

6 Seed: Cleveland Browns

The Browns are also 7-4 and battling for the top spot in the AFC North. Cleveland has multiple big wins over top teams in the NFL, such as the 49ers and the Ravens, but just lost to a hot Denver Broncos team. The Browns will travel to Los Angeles to play the Rams on Sunday and will look for a victory to continue to contest the top spot in the AFC North.

7 Seed: Indianapolis Colts

The Colts currently hold the final spot in the playoffs. Indianapolis sits at 6-5 but holds tiebreakers over both the Texans and the Broncos. Gardner Minshew has been playing well for the Colts and just got Josh Downs back from a knee injury. Jonathan Taylor continues to get better every week, and their defense has been playing well. This spot is bound to change multiple times throughout the final couple of weeks, but as of now, the Colts are protecting the final playoff spot.


In all, there is still a lot of football left to play. There are lots of teams that will filter in and out of the playoff spots, such as the Texans, the Broncos, the Bills, and most likely more. As the season continues to progress, the playoff race will continue to get more and more interesting as many of the teams in and fighting still play each other. Even with lots of star quarterbacks out, the backups are keeping their teams afloat and will continue to battle until the end of the year.