Week 14 AFC Playoff Picture
In Need Of A Festivus Miracle
Houston Texans (5-7) Houston is just two games out of first place but the AFC South is a big mess and the Texans would have to leapfrog over both Indianapolis and Jacksonville. Houston has lost five of their last six and to get back into it Houston will need to beat Baltimore tomorrow night.
Miami Dolphins (6-6) Winning the division is out of the question and to grab a wild card bid the Dolphins will need to run the table. That means road wins against the Jets today and the Patriots in Week 17.
San Diego Chargers (6-6) Last week's loss to Oakland was a killer on two fronts. First, it put San Diego two games behind Kansas City for the division lead. Second, it puts the Chargers at 1-3 in the division, meaning San Diego would likely lose any tiebreaker. That means today's game against Kansas City is a must win.
In Need Of Help
Oakland Raiders (6-6) Despite having the same record as the Chargers Oakland is in a much better position thanks to a 4-0 AFC West record. The Raiders benefit from a Week 17 matchup against Kansas City but before the Raiders get there they have a big game at Jacksonville today followed by a home date against Indianapolis in Week 16.
Indianapolis Colts (7-6) With the 30-28 win over Tennessee on Thursday night the Colts stay alive in the AFC race. Now the Colts get to rest before facing a must-win against Jacksonville next Sunday. Remember, the Colts lost to the Jaguars in Week 4 and cannot afford another loss at this point.
Controlling Their Destiny
Baltimore Ravens (8-4) Last week's loss to Pittsburgh makes winning the AFC North difficult but not impossible. Baltimore's four losses have been by a combined 16 points and the Ravens can play themselves in with three straight wins. Baltimore ends the season at Cleveland and versus Cincinnati at home.
New York Jets (9-3) Like the Ravens the Jets took a step backward in the quest for a division title. But New York is so far out in front of the rest of the pack that two wins will clinch a playoff spot for the Jets.
Jacksonville Jaguars (7-5) Before the Jaguars get to the monster showdown against Indianapolis they must take care of Oakland today. At this rate if Jacksonville wins today, loses next week and then finishes the season tied with the Colts the Jaguars would lose the common opponents tiebreaker. Winning this week and next would go a long way.
Kansas City Chiefs (8-4) Thanks to a three game winning streak the Chiefs have a two game stranglehold on the AFC West. However, Kansas City faces two big divisional games, today at San Diego and Week 17 against Oakland. A task made more difficult with Matt Cassel out for at least one week.
Pittsburgh Steelers (9-3) Like the Chiefs the Steelers have won three in a row. Unlike the Chiefs Pittsburgh's most difficult stretch of the schedule is behind them. Pittsburgh now has three straight home games against the Bengals, Jets and Panthers.
New England Patriots (10-2) After Monday's impressive win over the Jets New England not only holds the lead in the AFC East but they are the front runners to grab homefield advantage. New England is on the road against Chicago today and then play Green Bay at home next week.