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The AFC playoff picture has been wild throughout the season. The conference finally has one team that has clinched a playoff berth after 16 weeks, as the Kansas City Chiefs clinched the AFC West with Sunday's win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Kansas City is the only team in the conference that has its postseason spot sealed with two weeks left in the regular season.

There are still 12 teams vying for the six remaining playoff spots in the AFC and nine teams still in contention for the three remaining wild card spots. The AFC has become so unpredictable that the Houston Texans beat the Los Angeles Chargers, creating even more chaos in the crazy wild card playoff race. 

With two weeks to play, let's take a revised look at the teams that have the best shot at sealing one of the three wild card spots in the conference.

Current AFC division leaders

Here are your top four seeds as the playoff picture currently stands:

  1. Chiefs (11-4)*
  2. Titans (10-5)
  3. Bengals (9-6)
  4. Bills (9-6)

Note: * = clinched division

AFC wild card contenders, ranked

This is a ranking of the teams competing for a wild card spot in the AFC. Only three non-division winning teams make the playoffs, so the top three obviously have the best chance to make the postseason as we dive into Week 17. 

1. Colts (9-6)

Remaining schedule: vs. Raiders, at Jaguars

Any team that has nine wins at this stage in the season and the Jaguars on their schedule has an excellent shot to reach the postseason. The Colts are one of the hottest teams in football, going 8-2 in their last 10 games since starting 1-4. Indianapolis is a full game up on the final wild card spot and has the best conference record of all the teams vying for the wild card. They also are the No. 5 seed with the Jaguars left on their schedule (had to mention it again) -- and can severely impact one of the teams trying to reach the postseason in the Raiders. Barring a major collapse, the Colts are in. 

2. Patriots (9-6)

Remaining schedule: vs. Jaguars, at Dolphins

Just like the Colts, the Patriots are in excellent shape to make the playoffs thanks to the Jaguars remaining on their schedule. Why is New England lower than Indianapolis? The Patriots did lose to the Colts in Week 15, but can also finish third in the AFC East if the Dolphins win out -- which is crazy to fathom. Ten wins should get New England into the playoffs, but the Patriots have to make sure they don't have a slip up like the Chargers did -- especially with their division title chances a long shot barring a collapse by the Bills. 

3. Browns (7-8)

Remaining schedule: at Steelers, vs. Bengals 

How does a team under. 500 have the third-best chance of the wild card contenders to make the playoffs? The Browns still have a chance to win the AFC North if they win out, needing a win over the Steelers and a Bengals loss to the Chiefs on Sunday to set up a winner-take-all showdown for the division title. Cleveland is still one game back of the final playoff spot in the AFC, but being the 12th seed in the conference with a 4-6 conference record isn't going to help the Browns at this stage of the game. Better for the Browns to win Sunday and bank on the Bengals losing to set up a playoff game in Week 18. 

4. Dolphins (8-7)

Remaining schedule: at Titans, vs. Patriots

The Dolphins are the the No. 7 seed in the AFC and have seized the final playoff spot in the conference after winning their seventh straight game -- rebounding from a 1-7 start. Now comes the real test in Week 17 against the Titans, the first over .500 team the Dolphins have faced since a Week 10 win over the Ravens. If the Dolphins win that one, that sets up a Week 18 showdown with the Patriots for a playoff spot (and Miami seems to have New England's number of late). The Dolphins earned this spot, but can they keep it by extending the winning streak for two more weeks? 

5. Chargers (8-7)

Remaining schedule: vs. Broncos, at Raiders

Los Angeles had a playoff spot in its grasp, only needing to beat Houston to get to the nine-win mark. Instead the Chargers were upset by the Texans and fell to the No. 9 spot in the conference. The Chargers still can get into the playoffs, but face two tough division rivals in the Broncos and Raiders -- who are both fighting to stay alive in the AFC playoff race (and the Raiders are one of three other 8-7 teams fighting for the final playoff spot). The Chargers can still win out and get to 10 wins, hoping to create a massive tiebreaker if the Dolphins and Patriots each get to 10 wins -- but this all could have been avoided just by beating the Texans. 

6. Raiders (8-7)

Remaining schedule: at Colts, vs. Chargers

The Raiders beat the Broncos to have a fighting chance to get a playoff spot, but their remaining schedule is brutal. Vegas has to beat a red-hot Indianapolis team -- on the road -- to stay alive in the playoff race. The Raiders then finish up with the Chargers, who beat them earlier this year. Beating Denver gave Vegas a chance to steal a playoff spot, especially with a 6-4 conference record. A win over the Colts and Vegas will have a head-to-head tiebreaker over them and Miami, which could be crucial should they tie one of them (or both) for the final playoff spot.

7. Ravens (8-7)

Remaining schedule: vs. Rams, vs. Steelers 

At this stage of the game, the Ravens have to win out. Getting Lamar Jackson back in Week 17 will be needed against the Rams, who are fighting for the NFC West title and the top seed in the NFC -- so Los Angeles has something to play for. Their AFC North chances are all but extinct with a 1-4 division record, but winning out has Baltimore at 10 wins with a shot at the wild card. The Ravens need the Dolphins or the Raiders to lose one of their last two if they win out (since both teams beat Baltimore), but their playoff chances aren't dead yet. Unfortunately the Ravens have a brutal finish to their schedule, but both games are at home. 

8. Steelers (7-7-1)

Remaining schedule: vs. Browns, at Ravens

The Steelers have a shot at winning the AFC North if they win out, needing to eliminate the Browns in Week 17 before setting up a showdown with Baltimore for a chance to win the division. Even if the Steelers do win their final two games, the Bengals have to lose their final two games for the Steelers to win the division. That tie will be in play if Pittsburgh wins out, especially if other teams finish with nine wins on the year and are in playoff position. The Steelers won't need a tiebreaker with a tie in hand. They may not look like a playoff team, but Pittsburgh isn't dead yet. 

9. Broncos (7-8)

Remaining schedule: at Chargers, vs. Chiefs 

Losing to the Raiders basically was the nail in the coffin for the Broncos' playoff chances. Not only does Denver need to win out to have a shot, but they have to beat the Chargers and Chiefs to get to that threshold. Hard to see Denver reaching the playoffs at this stage, especially since there are eight other teams ahead of them fighting for those three wild card spots. One loss and Denver is finished. 


Only three teams are officially eliminated from the postseason through Week 16: