There are five teams that have punched their ticket to the playoffs in the AFC. Denver, New England, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Kansas City will all be dancing for a trip to New Jersey for the 48th edition of the Super Bowl. Even though the playoff picture of the AFC is pretty straight forward, home field advantage has not been clinched. It looks to be the 12-3 Broncos, but if they falter against the Raiders week 17 then the 11-4 Patriots could take that spot.
The real question in the AFC is who will take the final wild card spot. There are three teams that sit at 8-7 going into the final week. Even though there are a handful of teams that are not mathematically eliminated, these three teams have the highest chance of moving on to Wild Card weekend.
Miami, Baltimore and San Diego are the ‘finalists’. Miami plays the hurting Jets, the Ravens are on the road against the hot Bengals and San Diego is home against the Chiefs. Miami looks to be the favorite for that spot just because they are playing a bad Jets team. When Rex Ryan is asking his team to play hard for him to save his job, it’s bad news.
Even though the Ravens have played better on the offensive side of the ball, the Bengals are going to make it hard on the 29th ranked offense. It also doesn't help the Bengals have the 5th best defense in the league.
The Chiefs might find themselves resting some players but after getting their brains beaten in by the Colts at home, they might want to find some rhythm on the offensive side of the ball. Philip Rivers has had a quiet but yet great season. Rivers has completed a little less than 70 percent of his passes (best in NFL) and has had little options in the wide receiver department.
The door is open for the Dolphins to take the last wild card position and make a very controversial season end in the playoffs.