At the beginning Week 16, 11 AFC teams had an opportunity to make the postseason. The Pittsburgh Steelers 20-12 win against the Kansas City Chiefs eliminated the Miami Dolphins from the postseason, but not the Kansas City Chiefs. The Buffalo Bills lost 26-24 to the Oakland Raiders, eliminating them from playoff contention.
After Sunday’s Week 16 1 p.m. games, here is the AFC’s updated playoff picture:
The Division Leaders:
1. New England Patriots — 12-3 (Clinched AFC East and a 1st-round bye, defeated NYJ 17-16)
2. Denver Broncos — 11-3 (Clinched AFC West)
3. Cincinnati Bengals — 9-4-1
4. Indianapolis Colts — 10-5 (Clinched AFC South)
The Wild Card Contenders:
5. Pittsburgh Steelers — 10-5 (Defeated KC 20-12)
6. San Diego Chargers — 9-6 — (Defeated SF 38-35)
On the Outside Looking In:
7. Baltimore Ravens — 9-6 — (Lost to HOU 25-13)
8. Houston Texans — 8-7 (Defeated BAL 25-13)
9. Kansas City Chiefs — 8-7 (Lost to PIT 20-12)
The Patriots can clinch a 1st-round bye with a victory against the New York Jets. They can clinch home-field advantage in the playoffs throughout with a win and a Broncos loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football.
The Colts can clinch the No. 3 seed with a win next week against Tennessee and if neither Cincinnati nor Pittsburgh reach 11 wins. The Steelers can still win the AFC North if they win out, and if they win out, they will become the AFC’s No. 3 seed. If the Bengals win out and the Colts lose one of their final two games, the Bengals would become the AFC’s No. 3 seed.