Week 16 AFC playoff picture
In Need of a Festivus Miracle
Pittsburgh Steelers (6-8) Of all the teams still alive in the playoff race the Steelers have the slimmest chance. They need to win their final two games. They need Miami and Baltimore to both lose their two games. But wait there's more: Pittsburgh also needs the Jets to win their final two and for good measure they need San Diego to lose once. Hey, that's why they play the games.
San Diego Chargers (7-7) The Chargers are still hanging around however with a 4-6 conference record they lose all tiebreakers if they're tied with another team at 8-8. So San Diego needs to win out to go with two losses by both Baltimore and Miami.
In Need of Help
Miami Dolphins (8-6) The AFC East is still in play after Miami's win over New England last week. To win the division Miami needs two wins and two New England losses. The easier path is to be a wild card and Miami can clinch a playoff birth with a win, a Baltimore loss and a Cincinnati loss.
Controlling Their Destiny
Baltimore Ravens (8-6) Baltimore can clinch the AFC North by winning out. With a little help they could get a first round bye. Even without two wins they can still be a wild card team. Then again, with one loss they could be out of the playoffs entirely. Despite all the scenarios Baltimore is in this week with a win, a Miami loss and a San Diego loss. The Patriots-Ravens game in Baltimore carries massive playoff implications.
Clinched Playoff Birth
Kansas City Chiefs (11-3) The Chiefs have already clinched a playoff spot but need another Denver loss to win the AFC West.
Indianapolis Colts (9-5) The Colts have clinched the AFC South but still have seeding to play for. A first round bye and even homefield advantage throughout is a possibility but with plenty of help.
Cincinnati Bengals (9-5) Like Baltimore Cincinnati is in a very interesting position. They can win the AFC North but they could also be out of the playoffs altogether. The Bengals wrap up a playoff spot with a win and a Miami loss. Cincy wins the AFC North with a win and a Baltimore loss.
New England Patriots (10-4) Despite having 10 wins the Patriots are still fighting for a playoff birth. They have a number of scenarios this week. New England clinches a playoff birth with a Cincinnati win. The Patriots take the AFC East with a win or a Miami loss. Furthermore, New England nails down a first round bye with a win, a Cincinnati loss and an Indianapolis loss.
Denver Broncos (11-3) Denver is already in the playoffs but they win the AFC West with a win and a Kansas City loss. The Broncos clinch the #1 seed with a win, a Kansas City loss and a New England loss.