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NFL 2021 Match Pictures: Ranking AFC Teams Battle for Wild Card Slots with Chargers in Good Condition

The NFL is 14 weeks away from the season – a 17-game season – and no team in the AFC has qualified for the knockout stages. No team in the league has won a playoff spot, the first time since the league expanded to 16 games in 1978 that no team has won a playoff spot for 14 weeks.

The AFC continues to be wild and unpredictable, with 11 out of 16 teams scoring .500 or higher. All four teams are separated by 1.5 games in the Northern AFC, while the biggest gap between first and second place by any team in the AFC tournaments is two. Nine teams still have a shot at three wild card points in the game, setting the stage for an unpredictable final week.

Only one team seems to be in good form for one of the notable spots in the AFC, but a lot can change from week to week. Let’s revisit the top contenders for the three wildcard positions during the exciting Week 14 post-conference.

Current leaders of AFC

The AFC division leader for the first 14 weeks. All are now locked into a playoff spot if they win the division crown.

  1. Patriots (9-4) East
  2. Titan (9-4) Male
  3. Chief (9-4) West
  4. Ravens (8-5) North

AFC wild card candidates, ranking

Here is the standings of the teams competing for a wild card spot in the AFC. Only three teams can make it to the knockout stages, so the top three clearly have the best chance of making it through the post-season during the first 14 weeks of the year.

Remaining schedule: versus the Chiefs, in Texas, versus the Broncos, at Raiders

Chargers did their job and crushed Giant Sunday, claim the only 5th seed in the AFC standings – a game before the madness of the 7-6 teams in the Los Angeles conference that will play with first place at the AFC West on Wednesday night. Five, as a win Kansas City will award them the first tiebreak in the tournament. With a conference record of 5-3 and the remaining two teams under 500. Ten wins should be enough to claim one of three wild card points – if Los Angeles doesn’t win the division.

2. Bill (7-6)

Remaining schedule: compare to Panthers, at the Patriots, vs. Eagle, compared to the Jet

Even after losing two matches in a row and falling to the 7th seed in the AFC rankings, the Bills are still very energetic to capture one of the strong points of the tournament. Buffalo plays against three teams that currently have under .500 records finishing the season (and Buffalo playing well against teams under .500) – with all three games at home. The Bills are still out of the AFC East race, but they need a win over the Patriots and some help from two other wild card contenders (Colts and Dolphins) to take over the division. There is no reason to panic in Buffalo.

Remaining schedule: in Broncos, versus Ravens, versus Chiefs, at Browns

A hard loss for 49ers dropped Cincinnati to 9th in the league standings, so why are the Bengals’ playoff chances so high? The Bengals are still just one game away from first place in the unpredictable AFC North, with a face off against Raven in two weeks (and Cincinnati has beaten Baltimore). Team Bengal controls their own playoff fate with Denver, Baltimore, Kansas City and Cleveland still on their schedule – all teams over .500 and battling for playoffs. Cincinnati still has a spot in the AFC North – and could help knock out the rest of the teams on its schedule.

Remaining schedule: compare to Raiders, in Packers, in Steelsmith, compared to Bengals

Fortunes changed for the Browns last week after Cleveland won a rematch against Baltimore. The Browns finished second in the AFC North in one game behind Raven in first place in the league as the two teams split their regular-season series. Cleveland is 8th in the AFC standings, joining Indianapolis, Buffalo and Cincinnati for the final playoff spot in the game. That win over Cincinnati has big implications for the division and playoff games – as the two will meet in the final week of the regular season. Cleveland has a rough end to the year – much like Cincinnati – but the Browns also control their own destiny. If Cleveland can find a way to upset Green Bay.

Remaining schedule: compared with patriots, at Quantily, versus Raiders, at Jaguars

The Colts took their leave this week, but established themselves as the sixth seed in the AFC knockout stages – keeping one of two wild card slots with one of the five held to a 7-6 draw. Indianapolis’s chances of winning the AFC South are everything, so the best way for the Colts to make it to the knockout stages is via the wild card. Indianapolis plays first-place teams in New England and Arizona over the next two weeks – a run where the Colts must draw at least 1-1. Ten wins will keep the Colts in, but the next two weeks are their season.

6. Steelworker (6-6-1)

Remaining schedule: vs. Titans, at Chiefs, vs. Browns, at Ravens

The loss to Vikings is brutal for the Steelers, who could take 6th place in the AFC playoffs if they beat Minnesota. Instead, the Steelers sat last in the AFC North as the 11th seed in the conference – just half a game away from the final playoff spot. Their schedule to close the season was fierce, as Pittsburgh had to draw 1-1 to stay in the playoff race before closing the year with two opponents in the same rank. That draw will be the Steelers’ friend if they get nine wins – or their worst enemy if they end up with eight wins. Remember, Pittsburgh is only 1.5 games behind AFC North.

Remaining schedule: compared to the jet, at Saints, at Titans, vs. Patriots

The Dolphins earned no spot in the playoff standings, but just one game out of the final playoff spot. Miami could actually hit more than ,500 if the Dolphins are interested in the business over the next two weeks, making this playoff race even more intriguing. The Dolphins will qualify for the knockout stages if they run the group – that would be nine in a row to end the season. If Miami ends up with nine wins and a conference record of .500, they also have a slot. If the Dolphins feel sad in the next two weeks – they can forget about it after the season.

Remaining schedule: against the Bengals, at the Raiders, at the Chargers, versus the Chiefs

The Broncos are tied for the final playoff spot in the AFC after loosing business against Lion. Their playoff chances will drop this week against the Bengals – a game Denver can’t afford to lose as they lost to the teh convention record-breaker to four other teams with them. A rough finish against the AFC West didn’t help the Broncos either, but the team had a chance to win nine. Beating Cincinnati would be the particular win that Denver needs to be taken seriously as a playoff threat.

9. Raiders (6-7)

Remaining schedule: at the Browns, versus the Broncos, at the Colts, versus the Chargers

A heavy loss to the Captain pushed the Raiders down to 12th place in the league standings. If Vegas falls to Cleveland this week, the Raiders could essentially say goodbye to their playoff chances – as there are too many teams to get through to get a playoff berth. Vegas had to take a 3-1 lead to get a shot in the anus.

Removed

Only three teams were officially eliminated from post-season through Week 14:

https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/2021-nfl-playoff-picture-ranking-afc-teams-battling-for-wild-card-spots-with-chargers-in-good-shape/ NFL 2021 Match Pictures: Ranking AFC Teams Battle for Wild Card Slots with Chargers in Good Condition

Olly Dawes

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