AFC Playoff Picture With One Week Remaining This Season

Intro: With one week left in the 2015 regular season, eight teams remain in contention for an AFC playoff spot. What does the AFC look like heading into Week 17?

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INDIANAPOLIS – With one week left in the 2015 regular season, the AFC Playoff Picture looks like this:

1. Patriots (12-3): Clinched first-round bye2. Broncos (11-4): Clinched playoff berth3. Bengals (11-4): Clinched division title4. Texans (8-7)5. Chiefs (10-5): Clinched playoff berth6. Jets (10-5)


Outside Looking In Wild Card

7. Steelers (9-6)

Outside Looking In Divisional Race

8. Colts (7-8)

What can happen in Week 17?NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (at Miami)

New England clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:

1)    NE win or tie OR

2)    DEN loss or tie

DENVER BRONCOS (vs. San Diego)

Denver clinches AFC West division with:

1)    DEN win or tie OR

2)    KC loss or tie

Denver clinches a first-round bye with:

1)    DEN win  OR

2)    DEN tie CIN loss or tie OR

3)    KC loss or tie CIN loss

Denver clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs:

1)   DEN win NE loss

CINCINNATI BENGALS (vs. Baltimore)

Cincinnati clinches a first-round bye with:

1)    CIN win DEN loss or tie OR

2)    CIN tie DEN loss OR

3)    DEN loss KC win

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (vs. Oakland)

Kansas City clinches AFC West division with:

1)    KC win DEN loss

NEW YORK JETS (at Buffalo)

The New York Jets clinch a playoff spot with:

1)    NYJ win or tie OR

2)    PIT loss or tie

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (at Cleveland)

Pittsburgh clinches a playoff spot with:

1)    PIT win NYJ loss

HOUSTON TEXANS (vs. Jacksonville)

Houston clinches AFC South division with:

1)    HOU win or tie OR

2)    IND loss or tie OR

3)    HOU clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over IND or clinches strength of schedule tiebreaker over IND

Note: HOU clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over IND if one of the following teams wins or ties: CIN, NE, NO, NYJ, SD

HOU clinches strength of schedule tiebreaker over IND if KC wins or ties and BAL wins or ties as long as both teams don't tie

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (vs. Tennessee)

Indianapolis clinches AFC South division with:

1)    IND win HOU loss IND ties HOU in strength of victory tiebreaker and clinches strength of schedule tiebreaker over HOU

Note: IND ties HOU in strength of victory tiebreaker and clinches strength of schedule tiebreaker over HOU if BOTH of the following occurs:
a)    all of the following teams win: ATL, BAL, BUF, DEN, MIA
b)    OAK win or tie PIT win or tie as long as both teams don't tie

If Houston and Indianapolis end up tied in strength of victory and tied in strength of schedule, the teams would then go to the next tiebreaker, which is best combined ranking among AFC teams in points scored and points allowed in all games.

Here is a look at the possible seeds for each of the eight AFC teams who have either clinched a playoff berth or remain in contention:

-NEW ENGLAND (12-3): Clinched AFC East and first-round bye. In control for No. 1 seed. Can be either the No. 1 or 2 seed.

-DENVER (11-4): In control of AFC West and No. 2 seed. Can be the No. 1, 2, 3, 5 or 6 seed.

-CINCINNATI (11-4): Clinched AFC North. Can be either the No. 2 or 3 seed.

-HOUSTON (8-7): In control of AFC South and No. 4 seed. If Texans qualify, can only be the No. 4 seed.

-INDIANAPOLIS (7-8): In contention for AFC South title. If Colts qualify, can only be the No. 4 seed.

-KANSAS CITY (10-5): Clinched playoff berth. Can be the No. 3, 5 or 6 seed.

-NEW YORK JETS (10-5): In control of playoff berth. If Jets qualify, can be either the No. 5 or 6 seed.

-PITTSBURGH (9-6): In contention for playoff berth. If Steelers qualify, can only be the No. 6 seed.

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