NFL

AFC Week 16 Playoff Scenarios

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Sleigh bells are ringing while you’re dashing through the malls for that last-minute gift to impress your baby! All the while, 26 teams were in contention for a playoff spot coming into week 15.

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AFC EASTNEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (12-2)

Remaining schedule: vs. New York Jets on Dec. 24, at Miami on Jan. 1.

Division record: 3-1. Conference record: 9-1.

Clinched division and first-round bye with impressive win over the Broncos. Need two wins, or one win and a loss by Raiders, or two losses by Raiders, to lock up No. 1 seed.

MIAMI DOLPHINS (9-5)

Remaining schedule: at Buffalo on Dec. 24, vs. New England on Jan. 1.

Division record: 3-1. Conference record: 6-4.

Their win over the Jets, coupled with New England’s win at Denver, gave the Dolphins control of the second wild-card spot.

Need a miracle: BUFFALO BILLS (7-7).

Eliminated: NEW YORK JETS (4-10).

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AFC NORTH

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (9-5)

Remaining schedule: vs. Baltimore on Dec. 25, vs. Cleveland on Jan. 1.

Division record: 3-1. Conference record: 7-3.

Their comeback win over the Bengals set up a showdown for the division at home on Christmas Day vs. the Ravens. Pittsburgh already lost at Baltimore so they must win that game.

BALTIMORE RAVENS (8-6)

Remaining schedule: at Pittsburgh on Dec. 25, at Cincinnati on Jan. 1.

Division record: 4-0. Conference record: 7-3.

They win the division if they win out.

Eliminated: CINCINNATI BENGALS (5-8-1), CLEVELAND BROWNS (0-14).

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AFC SOUTH

HOUSTON TEXANS (8-6)

Remaining schedule: vs. Cincinnati on Dec. 24, at Tennessee on Jan. 1.

Division record: 5-0. Conference record: 6-4.

They might have a quarterback controversy, but Tom Savage led them to a comeback win that keeps them in first place. Houston is tied with the Titans, so their New Year’s Day rematch at Tennessee could be for the division.

TENNESSEE TITANS (8-6)

Remaining schedule: at Jacksonville on Dec. 24, vs. Houston on Jan. 1.

Division record: 1-3. Conference record: 5-5.

An impressive comeback win at Kansas City allows them to control their playoff possibilities. If they win out, they earn a division crown. The Titans would lose a tiebreaker with Houston, so they can’t fall behind the Texans going into Week 17. They hold head-to-head tiebreakers over the Broncos and Dolphins, so a wild card is still in play.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (7-7)

Remaining schedule: at Oakland on Dec. 24, vs. Jacksonville on Jan. 1.

Division record: 2-3. Conference record: 4-6.

A big win at Minnesota keeps them alive, but they have the tough Raiders and need help.

Eliminated: JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (2-12).

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AFC WEST

OAKLAND RAIDERS (11-3)

Remaining schedule: vs. Indianapolis on Dec. 24, at Denver on Jan. 1.

Division record: 3-2. Conference record: 8-2.

Oakland clinched its first playoff spot in 14 years with a win over the Chargers. The Raiders must finish one game ahead of the Chiefs to win AFC West because they lost to them twice.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (10-4)

Remaining schedule: vs. Denver on Dec. 25, at San Diego on Jan. 1.

Division record: 4-0. Conference record: 7-3.

Missed opportunity to clinch a playoff spot and lost control of division race, but hold a tiebreaker over the Raiders because they beat Oakland twice.

DENVER BRONCOS (8-6)

Remaining schedule: at Kansas City on Dec. 25, vs. Oakland on Jan. 1.

Division record: 1-3. Conference record: 5-5.

They lost control of their playoff future with back to back losses to Tennessee and New England and their schedule is brutal.

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