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AFC Playoff Picture, Clinching Scenarios Heading Into Week 15

While the Indianapolis Colts cannot clinch a playoff berth in Week 15, see how the AFC playoff picture could shape up following this weekend's matchups

#17 QB Philip Rivers
#17 QB Philip Rivers

INDIANAPOLIS - Heading into a Week 15 matchup with the Houston Texans, the Indianapolis Colts currently hold the 6th seed in the AFC (9-4). While the team will not be in a position to clinch a playoff berth this weekend, the following scenarios will have major implications on the postseason.

Get a full rundown of the playoff picture, clinching scenarios and current tiebreakers in Week 15:


  1. Kansas City Chiefs (12-1)
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2)
  3. Buffalo Bills (10-3)
  4. Tennessee Titans (9-4)
  5. Cleveland Browns (9-4)
  6. Indianapolis Colts (9-4)
  7. Miami Dolphins (8-5)


Kansas City Chiefs – AFC West division title

Pittsburgh Steelers – playoff berth

BUFFALO BILLS (10-3) (at Denver (5-8), Saturday, 4:30 PM ET, NFLN)

Buffalo clinches AFC East division title with:​

  • BUF win OR
  • MIA loss OR
  • BUF tie + MIA tie

Buffalo clinches playoff berth with:

  • BUF tie + BAL loss or tie OR
  • BAL loss​

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (12-1) (at New Orleans (10-3), Sunday, 4:25 PM ET, CBS)

Kansas City clinches first-round bye with:

  • KC win + PIT loss + BUF loss or tie

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (11-2) (at Cincinnati (2-10-1), Monday night, 8:15 PM ET, ESPN)

Pittsburgh clinches AFC North division title with:

  • PIT win OR
  • CLE loss OR
  • PIT tie + CLE tie

TENNESSEE TITANS (9-4) (vs. Detroit (5-8), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

Tennessee clinches playoff berth with:

  • TEN win + BAL loss OR
  • TEN win + LV loss or tie + MIA loss + CLE win or tie OR
  • TEN win + LV loss or tie + MIA loss + TEN or CLE clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over MIA


  • Tennessee is ahead of Indianapolis in the AFC South based on division record (4-1 to the Colts' 2-2).
  • Cleveland is ahead of Indianapolis based on head to head (1-0).
  • Miami is ahead of Baltimore based on conference record (5-4 to the Ravens' 5-5).
  • Houston is ahead of the L.A. Chargers based on strength of victory (.250 to the Chargers' .144).

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