AFC Playoff Picture Week 17: Seeding, Scenarios & Tiebreakers

playoff, picture, seeds, tiebreakers, wild card, seeds, matchups, AFC, NFC, NFL

Brock Osweiler and Denver could be the AFC’s top seed, but they could also lose the division lead to Kansas City. (Getty)

Thanks to a late Ryan Fitzpatrick interception, the Steelers, and not the Jets, will go the NFL playoffs. The Steelers beat the Browns and the Bills beat the Jets, giving the Steelers a narrow tiebreaker edge via common opponents.

At the top of the bracket, Denver still has a shot at home-field advantage if they beat the Chargers today. If they lose, it’s possible for them not only miss out on the top spot, but also a first-round bye. Kansas City could defeat Oakland in their finale and vault all the way up to the three seed, sending Cincinnati into a first-round bye.

For a full list of NFL tiebreaking procedures, click here.

Here’s how the playoff standings look right now:


AFC Seeding

playoff, picture, seeds, tiebreakers, wild card, seeds, matchups, AFC, NFC, NFL

AJ McCarron may be forced to start in a Wild Card game if Andy Dalton’s thumb isn’t fully recovered. (Getty)

The Division Leaders:

1. New England Patriots — 12-4 — Clinched AFC East
2. Cincinnati Bengals — 12-4 — Clinched AFC North
3. Denver Broncos — 11-4
4. Houston Texans — 9-7 — Clinched AFC South

The Wild Card Contenders:

5. Kansas City Chiefs — 10-5 — Clinched playoff berth
6. Pittsburgh Steelers — 10-5 — Clinched playoff berth

*Kansas City is ahead of the New York and Pittsburgh based on conference record (Chiefs: 8-2 Jets:6-4 Steelers: 6-4)

*Pittsburgh has tiebreaker over New York based on common games record (3-1 to New York’s 3-2).

Clinching Scenarios:

– New England clinches home field advantage with win OR Denver loss

– Denver clinches AFC West and first-round bye with win OR Kansas City loss

– Denver clinches home field advantage with win and New England loss

– Bengals clinch first-round bye with win and Denver loss OR Denver loss and Kansas City win

– Chiefs clinch AFC West with win and Denver loss

– Houston clinches AFC South with win OR Colts loss

– New York clinches playoff spot with win OR Pittsburgh loss

Potential Wild Card Matchups:

Steelers at Broncos

Chiefs at Texans


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