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AFC Playoff Picture After Week 16

December 26th, 2012 at 10:28 PM
By Spencer Frenchman

The AFC playoff teams are set, the division winners decided, and the wild cards doled out.  However, there is still plenty to be determined, including which of three team will come out on top of the AFC and receive home field advantage throughout the playoffs. 

Current standings

1. Texans (12-3)

2. Broncos (12-3)

3. Patriots (11-4)

4. Ravens (10-5)

5. Colts (10-5)

6. Bengals (9-6)

Remaining Games

Texans (12-3) @ Colts (10-5)

Chiefs (2-13) @ Broncos (12-3)

Dolphins (7-8) @ Patriots (11-4)

Ravens (10-5) @ Bengals (9-6)

Both the Colts and Bengals clinched playoff spots last week after the Bengals beat their division rival Pittsburg Steelers for their sixth win in seven games.  Although both teams clinched playoff spots, regardless of what happens next week the Colts will finish as the fifth seed and the Bengals as the sixth.

After demolishing the Giants last week, the Ravens can move up to third with a win against the Bengals coupled with a New England loss to the Dolphins.

The Patriots can finish in any of the top four spots.  They clinch the number one seed and home field advantage throughout the playoffs with a win against Miami and losses by both Denver and Houston.  They can clinch a first round bye with a win and either a Denver or Houston loss, and finally, they can drop to fourth with a loss and a Baltimore win.

The Denver Broncos clinch one of the AFC's top two seeds with either a win or New England loss. If Houston loses in Indianapolis, all the Broncos need is a win against the lowly Kansas City Chiefs to claim the AFC's number one seed.

Houston can clinch a bye with a win, a New England loss, or a Denver loss.  They clinch the number one seed with either a win, or New England and Denver losses.

Predictions:  

1. Houston (13-3)

2. Denver (13-3)

3. New England (12-4)

4. Baltimore (10-6)

5. Colts (10-6)

6. Bengals (10-6)

Its hard to see Denver losing at home against an inferior Kansas City squad with a first round bye on the line.  

Although not an easy game, Houston has more to play for than the Colts and will therefore go into Indianapolis and take care of business.  

The Patriots are notoriously tough at home in the winter months and will not lose against a Miami team that generally plays the Patriots much better at home.  

Its hard to pick against the surging Bengals especially playing Baltimore, who, with the exception of last week, are on a slide. 

The road to the super bowl actually looks to be easier from the fourth seed than from the third.  The third seed will have to face the Bengals on wild card weekend and then most likely go into Denver for a tough divisional matchup against the Broncos.  The Bengals are red hot right now with a defense that has given up 20 points only once since week nine.  At this point a matchup in Denver seems far more daunting than one in Houston.  Denver is the NFL's hottest team, having won 10 straight, and Houston has looked very beatable after being blown out in two of their last three contests. 

Tags: afc playoff, afc playoff teams, bengals, colts, Denver Broncos, Football, home field advantage, New England, New England Patriots, NFL, ravens, Super Bowl, Texans

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