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SilentDJ

AFC playoff picture: Just one January ticket left

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With a 37-28 victory over Denver on Monday night, the Bengals secured their fourth consecutive AFC postseason berth. They are the fifth team to clinch a spot in the AFC playoffs, joining the Patriots, Broncos, Colts and Steelers.

This leaves the Chargers, Ravens, Texans and Chiefs playing for one wild-card spot on Sunday as the regular season draws to a close. The Chargers and Chiefs are each aiming to make the playoffs for the second straight season, while the Ravens and Texans last made the postseason in 2012.

Here’s how the playoff seeding shapes up through Week 16. The NFL’s standings,playoff scenarios and tiebreaking rules were cited:

THE BIG SIX

1. New England Patriots (12-3, .800). AFC East winner. Has clinched No. 1 seed and first-round bye. Will have homefield advantage throughout conference playoffs.

2. Denver Broncos (11-4, .733). AFC West winner. Will clinch No. 2 seed and first-round bye with win vs. Oakland. Will also clinch first-round bye with Cincinnati loss or an Indianapolis win at Tennessee and a Cincinnati tie.

3. Cincinnati Bengals (10-4-1, .700). AFC North leader. Has clinched playoff spot. Will win AFC North with victory/tie at Pittsburgh (8:30 p.m. Eastern, NBC). Can clinch first-round bye with win over Pittsburgh and a Denver loss to Oakland. Would also clinch first-round bye with a tie, a Denver loss and an Indianapolis loss/tie.

4. Indianapolis Colts (10-5, .667). AFC South winner.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-5, .667). Wild card No. 1. Has clinched playoff spot. Will win AFC North with victory vs. Cincinnati.

6. San Diego Chargers (9-6, .600). Wild card No. 2. Will clinch playoff spot with win over Kansas City. Can also clinch playoff spot with tie and Baltimore loss/tie.

STILL IN THE MIX

7. Baltimore Ravens (9-6, .600). Will clinch wild-card spot with win vs. Cleveland and San Diego loss. Can also clinch playoff spot with tie and San Diego loss.

8. Houston Texans (8-7, .533). Will clinch wild-card spot with win vs. Jacksonville and losses by San Diego and Baltimore.

9. Kansas City Chiefs (8-7, .533). Will clinch wild-card spot with win vs. San Diego, a loss by Baltimore and a loss/tie by Houston.

 

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