AFC Playoff Picture Explained: What Does Your Team Need to Make the Playoffs?
There are only two more weeks in the NFL regular season and there are some very close playoff races. Only two teams in the AFC have clinched a spot in the playoffs and no team has clinched a division title. There are eight AFC teams that are fighting for the remaining four playoff spots in the AFC. If your team still has not locked up a spot in the playoffs and you want to know exactly what your team needs in order to make it to the playoffs, check out our detailed explanations below where we list all of the possible scenarios. If your team is already in the playoffs or is likely to make the playoffs we have AFC playoff tickets available now. We also have a detailed analysis of the NFC playoff race.
AFC Teams that have clinched a playoff berth:
New England Patriots – The Patriots have clinched a spot in the playoffs but they have not clinched the AFC East division. The Patriots need one win or one Jets loss to clinch the AFC East division.
Pittsburgh Steelers – The Steelers have clinched a spot in the playoffs. If the Steelers and the Ravens finish the season with the same record the Steelers win the tie breaker based on the fact that the Steelers will have a better divisional record than the Ravens. The Steelers need two wins, a win and a Ravens loss, or two Ravens losses to clinch the AFC North.
AFC Teams in the playoff hunt:
Baltimore Ravens – In order to win the AFC North, the Ravens need to win both of their last two games and have the Steelers lose one game or the Ravens need one win and have the Steelers lose their last two games. To clinch a playoff spot the Ravens control their own destiny and need just one win. If they lose both of their last two games they still have a chance but need a Chiefs loss and a Jaguars loss because they don’t match up well against either team in tie breakers.
New York Jets – The Jets can still win the AFC East with two wins and two Patriot losses. To clinch a playoff spot the Jets control their own destiny and need just one win. If they lose both of their last two games they still have a chance at the wild card but would benefit greatly by having the Jaguars lose at least one game because the Jets match up poorly against the Jaguars in tie breakers.
Kansas City Chiefs – The Chiefs can win the AFC West if one of the following scenarios occurs:
- A win in both of their last two games
- A win against the Raiders and one Chargers loss
- A win against the Titans, one Chargers loss, and the Colts win against the Raiders
- Chargers lose both of their last two games and the Colts win against the Raiders
The Chiefs have an extremely small chance of winning a wild card spot if they do not win the AFC West division. There are so many things that would have to go the Chiefs way for them to win a tiebreaker to win a wild card spot.
San Diego Chargers – The Chargers need some help to win the AFC West but still have a chance and will win the AFC West division if either of the following two scenarios occur:
- Wins in both of their last two games and a Chiefs loss
- One win, two Chiefs losses, and Colts win against the Raiders
The Chargers still have a chance at making the playoffs as a wild card if they win their last two games, and either the Ravens or Jets both lose their last two games. They would then also need some more help by having teams they have beaten to win their remaining games in order to win in a tiebreaker scenario.
Oakland Raiders – The Raiders are out of the wild card race but still have a small chance of winning the AFC West. The Raiders can win the AFC West division if they win both of their last two games, have the Chargers lose one game, and have the Titans beat the Chiefs.
Indianapolis Colts – The Colts will either win the AFC South division or they will not make the playoffs this year because the wild card teams will have at least a 10-6 record and if the Colts have a 10-6 record they will win the division. The Colts will win the AFC South if any of the following scenarios occur:
- A win in both of their last two games
- One win and have the Jaguars lose to the Texans
- A win against the Titans and one Jaguars loss
Jacksonville Jaguars – The Jaguars have a chance to win either the AFC South or a wild card spot. The Jaguars will win the AFC South if either of the following scenarios occur:
- A win in both of their last two games and one Colts loss
- A win against the Texans and have the Titans beat the Colts
The Jaguars still have a chance at making the playoffs as a wild card if they win their last two games, the Ravens and Jets both lose their last two games and they would also need a few other factors to go their way in a tiebreaker scenario.
Tennessee Titans – The Titans are out of the wild card race but still have a chance to win the AFC South division. The only way the Titans can win the AFC South is with a win in both of their last two games and the Colts and Jaguars both losing their final two games. In that scenario there will be a three way tie between the Titans, Colts and Jaguars with each team having a 8-8 record but the Titans will win the tie breaker.
AFC Teams eliminated from the playoffs:
Who will make the playoffs from the AFC? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @SeatGeek.