Week 13 AFC Playoff Picture
In Need Of A Festivus Miracle
Kansas City & San Diego (4-7) Tis the season of giving so I'm giving these two free-falling teams an outside chance at making a run for the AFC West title. Both are three back of the Raiders with five games to play and both will face Oakland once. But the reality is postseason hopes are pretty much gone.
Buffalo Bills (5-6) Losers of four straight the Bills are hanging on by a thread. A two game deficit can be made up but it appears Buffalo's best football is behind them. Nevertheless, the Bills can jump back into it with a win over the Titans today.
In Need Of Help
New York Jets (6-5) The Jets scored a big win over Buffalo last week and now face the Redskins in Week 13. Remember, New York has a soft schedule for the remainder of the season with Kansas City on deck followed by a road game against the Eagles.
Tennessee Titans (6-5) Despite Houston's quarterback problems the Titans can't seem to gain any ground on the division leaders. However, the Titans are in the thick of the wild card race and need a road win against Buffalo to stay in the mix.
Denver Broncos (6-5) And the wins keep coming. Again, whether it's in spite of or because of Tim Tebow, the Broncos are on fire having won four in a row. The Broncos get a banged up Minnesota today before embarking on a tough three game stretch. Denver has two things going for them: they're only a game behind the Raiders and have a better division record and the Broncos are 6-3 in the AFC, a far superior record to the others in need of help.
Controlling Their Destiny
Cincinnati Bengals (7-4) Can the Bengals hang on? Cincinnati scored a much needed win over Cleveland last week but now must go on the road against Pittsburgh. Next week Cincinnati faces Houston and then in Week 17 the Bengals host Baltimore. With just a one game cushion over a trio of teams the Bengals will need all the help they can get.
Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3) With home games against Cincinnati, Cleveland and St. Louis the Steelers are set up well for another trip to the postseason. The question is can they leapfrog over the Ravens? Baltimore holds the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Oakland Raiders (7-4) The Raiders have won three in a row but the Broncos keep charging so Oakland holds a one game lead. The Raiders have back-to-back road games now, today against Miami and next week against Green Bay. Can the Raiders continue to win despite all the injuries to their offense?
Baltimore Ravens (8-3) Baltimore is 5-2 in the AFC and because of that the Ravens would not get a first round bye if the season ended today. However, the Ravens finish the year with nothing but AFC opponents and only one (Cincinnati in Week 17) has a winning record.
New England Patriots (8-3) Any doubt about the Patriots was erased last week after New England overcame a slow start on the road. The Patriots get an early Christmas present this week: the winless Indianapolis Colts in a game that is normally a toss up.
Houston Texans (8-3) The Texans would be the #1 seed in the playoffs thanks to a dominant 7-2 record in the AFC. The question now is can Houston keep winning with TJ Yates at quarterback? The first big test is today at home against Atlanta followed by a road game versus Cincinnati next week.