The AFC playoff race is wide open as only two teams have clinched playoff berths heading into Week 16. The Chiefs and Chargers have both secured playoff spots, but four more positions are still up for grabs.
The Chargers and Ravens clash in a game with major playoff implications. Los Angeles is competing with Kansas City for the AFC West division title. The division winner will likely have one of the top two seeds and a first round bye. The second place team will have to play on the road during Wild Card weekend. The Chiefs have a difficult road matchup against the Seahawks on Sunday night.
There has been a bit of a debate as to how much of a home-field advantage the Chargers have since they moved to Los Angeles. Philip Rivers believes the team would have a good atmosphere if they are able to get a home playoff game.
“It would be different obviously if we get it — we all know that,” Rivers told ESPN. “But it ain’t no doubt it’s better than playing [in Kansas City], or New England, or in Baltimore or in Houston — or anywhere else we’re going to have to go. At least we’ll be able to hear a little bit. And I do think if that were to come to [fruition], it would be a heck of an atmosphere in the StubHub.”
Heading into Week 16, Baltimore had the final AFC playoff spot, but Tennessee’s win put pressure on the Ravens to defeat the Chargers. Baltimore is still within reach of the AFC North, but their most likely playoff option is one of the two Wild Card spots. Pittsburgh has the lead in the division but has a difficult matchup against the Saints in Week 16.
The Texans and Patriots are fighting for the No. 2 seed in the AFC. Houston controls their own destiny to secure a first-round bye, while New England will now needs the Texans to stumble to avoid playing on Wild Card weekend. Houston takes on Philadelphia on Sunday with both teams in the playoff race.
Here’s a look at the current AFC playoff standings. The top six teams will make the playoffs. This includes the four division winners and two Wild Card teams. The teams listed in bold would make the postseason if the playoffs started today. Teams in italics have already clinched a playoff berth.
AFC Wild Card Standings: Week 16
The top two teams will earn a Wild Card spot in the playoffs.
|1. Los Angeles Chargers||11||4||0|
|2. Baltimore Ravens||9||6||0|
|3. Tennessee Titans||9||6||0|
|4. Indianapolis Colts||8||6||0|
|5. Miami Dolphins||7||7||0|
|6. Cleveland Browns||6||7||1|
|7. Denver Broncos||6||8||0|
|8. Cincinnati Bengals||6||8||0|
AFC Playoff Standings
|1. Kansas City Chiefs||11||3||0|
|2. Houston Texans||10||4||0|
|3. New England Patriots||9||5||0|
|4. Pittsburgh Steelers||8||5||1|
|5. L.A. Chargers||11||4||0|
|6. Baltimore Ravens||9||6||0|
|7. Tennessee Titans||9||6||0|
|8. Indianapolis Colts||8||6||0|
|9. Miami Dolphins||7||7||0|
|10. Cleveland Browns||6||7||1|
|11. Denver Broncos||6||8||0|
|12. Cincinnati Bengals||6||8||0|
|13. Buffalo Bills||4||9||0|
|14. New York Jets||4||10||0|
|15. Jacksonville Jaguars||4||10||0|
|16. Oakland Raiders||3||11||0|
AFC Playoff Matchups Based on Current Standings
No. 1 Kansas City Chiefs (Bye)
No. 2 Houston Texans (Bye)
No. 6 Baltimore Ravens vs. No. 3 New England Patriots
No. 5 L.A. Chargers vs. No. 4 Pittsburgh Steelers