Six teams in each conference – four division winners and two wild cards – make the playoffs. The two division winners with the best records in each conference earn first-round byes.
Despite the stunning last-second loss in Miami, the Patriots maintained a hold of the No. 2 spot in the race for playoff spots in the AFC thanks to Houston’s loss to Indianapolis. They currently hold the tiebreaker over the Texans by virtue of their Week 1 victory in Foxborough. They also hold the tiebreaker over Kansas City thanks to a Week 6 win, so should the Patriots finish tied with either team they would have the edge. While the 10-3 Chargers have a better record than New England, they currently sit in second place behind the Chiefs in the AFC West and would therefore be a wild card if the playoffs began today. If the Chargers win out and finish tied at 13-3 with the Chiefs, Kansas City would win the AFC West based on division record.
Here’s a look at the current postseason picture in the AFC:
|Chiefs||11-2||4-0||9-1||LAC, at Sea., Oak.|
|Patriots||9-4||3-1||6-3||at Pit., Buf., NYJ|
|Texans||9-4||3-2||7-3||at NYJ, at Phi., Jax.|
|Steelers||7-5-1||3-1-1||4-5-1||NE, at NO, Cin.|
|Chargers||10-3||2-2||7-2||at KC, Bal., at Den.|
|Ravens||7-6||2-3||6-4||TB, at LAC, Cle.|
|IN THE HUNT|
|Colts||7-6||3-2||6-5||Dal., NYG, at Ten.|
|Dolphins||7-6||4-1||6-4||at Min., Jax., at Buf.|
|Titans||7-6||3-2||5-6||at NYG, Was., Ind.|
|Broncos||6-7||2-2||4-5||Cle., at Oak., LAC|
|Browns||5-7-1||2-1-1||3-5-1||at Den., Cin., at Bal.|
|Bengals||5-8||1-3||3-6||Oak., at Cle., at Pit.|