AFC Playoff Picture After Week 16

Written by: Nate Wyrsch

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Josh Allen against Kansas City Chiefs

After Week 16, here is how the AFC Playoff Picture looks:

1 Seed: Baltimore Ravens-x

The Baltimore Ravens clinched a playoff spot and are one of the best teams in football right now. They are coming off a huge Christmas Night win in San Francisco, winning in dominating fashion. They hold the one seed in the AFC and currently control their own path to home-field advantage and a bye week. Next week, the Ravens will have a playoff-deciding matchup against Miami, in which the winner will most likely get the first overall seed.

2 Seed: Miami Dolphins-x

Like the Ravens, Miami is also coming off a huge win against a top team in the NFL. Miami took care of business against a top Dallas Cowboys team on Christmas Eve. With this win, Miami has clinched a playoff spot and will be back in the postseason. The Dolphins have Tyreek Hill back and healthy and will hope Waddle can be healthy for their critical matchup in Baltimore. Miami also has a very important matchup against a hot Buffalo Bills team, which could possibly end up deciding the AFC North.

3 Seed: Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs had a tough game against the Raiders on Christmas, giving up multiple defensive touchdowns and still struggling to find their way offensively. They still sit atop the AFC West, however, even after losing to their division rival. Kansas City has now lost three out of the last four games and has not looked good. The Chiefs are not able to get the first seed anymore, but they can still make a playoff run with all the experience they have on the roster. Kansas City will host Cincinnati in Week 17, which could play a big role in deciding who makes and misses the playoffs.

4 Seed: Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars currently hold the last spot for division leaders. They sit at 8-7 and on top of the AFC South, barely edging out the Colts and the Texans. Jacksonville is coming off a blowout loss in Tampa Bay and has lost four straight games. Once in firm control of the division, they have left the door wide open and available for anyone's taking. They should be able to win out and take the division, however, as they end the year against a bad Panthers team and a lowly Titans team. They will hope that Trevor Lawrence gets as healthy as possible as he has been banged up the last few weeks.

5 Seed: Cleveland Browns

The Browns are having a very impressive season despite all the injuries that have been thrown at them. Joe Flacco is playing very good football and helping them win games, and they sit in a good position to push the Ravens for the AFC North championship. The Browns dominated the Texans on Sunday, leading the whole game and never looking back. The Browns offense has caught fire, and David Njoku is playing like one of the best tight ends in football. The Browns' defense is still very impressive and is crucial for them to continue to win games and potentially make a deep playoff run.

6 Seed: Buffalo Bills

The Bills have been one of the hottest teams in football over the last few weeks. Coming off a huge win against the Cowboys two weeks ago, they struggled against the Chargers but ended up finding a way. Sitting at 9-6, the Bills are still able to take the top spot in the AFC East if they can find a way to beat the Dolphins, and Miami loses against the Ravens. The last two weeks are filled with very important matchups, and the Week 18 game against the Dolphins is continuing to fill a loaded playoff slate. Buffalo is geared up to make a deep playoff run, and Stefon Diggs has been quiet as of late. If he can return to his normal form, this Buffalo team is one of the best in football.

7 Seed: Indianapolis Colts

The Colts suffered a humiliating loss against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, but still find themselves sitting in the final playoff spot. At 8-7, they are in a perfect spot to potentially steal the division from the Jaguars, but they must win both their remaining games. On Sunday, Indianapolis hosts a Raiders team flying high after a huge win in Kansas City. The Raiders are still barely hanging on to their playoff spot, but they will fight the Colts until the final whistle. Week 18 will be crucial, as the winner of the Colts-Texans game will likely make the playoff as the final team. Gardner Minshew will have to play very good football and lead the Colts through their final couple of games.


The AFC playoff race is coming down to the last games of the final week. It looks like it is going to be a very intense final two weeks, from the top of the playoff race all the way down to the final spot. Lots of teams are still alive and in contention, and there are tons of critical games coming up. The final two weeks will be exciting for the playoffs and may be the best end of the season we have seen in years.