Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos
at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 14, 2014 in Denver, Colorado.

AFC playoff picture, Week 12: Texans, Colts play big game

Six weeks. That’s all we have left in the NFL regular season before the championship case kicks into high gear.

Here’s how the AFC playoff picture looks heading into Week 12:

1. New England Patriots (9-1)
2. Baltimore Ravens (8-2)
3. Kansas City Chiefs (7-4)
4. Indianapolis Colts (6-4)
5. Buffalo Bills (7-3)
6. Houston Texans (6-4)

7. Oakland Raiders (6-4)
8. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-5)
9. Tennessee Titans (5-5)
10. Cleveland Browns (4-6)

 

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The biggest game of the week is on Thursday night. The Texans welcome in the Colts for a rematch from October, which Indianapolis won at home. The result of this game will start to provide some clarity. The winner moves into the third seed, with either winning a head-to-head tiebreaker with the Chiefs after beating them at Arrowhead Stadium. The loser could very well fall out of the top six seeds.

Should Indianapolis win, it both moves into the No. 3 seed and clinches the tiebreaker over the Texans due to a season sweep. Massive, massive game.

The Ravens won’t play until Monday night, where they take on the Los Angeles Rams at the L.A. Coliseum. The Rams are desperate but the Ravens have been the league’s best team over the past month and are coming off a 41-7 beating of the Texans. If they win again, they move into the conference’s top spot should the Patriots lose.

Speaking of New England, it is at home against the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas leads the NFC East with a 6-4 mark and is trying to gain separation from the Philadelphia Eagles. The Patriots hope to continue winning despite and offense hellbent on rarely scoring.

Buffalo has another game with a team under .500 in the Denver Broncos, who visit western New York. The Bills have seven wins and none against a playoff contender. Incredible.

 

Read: Derwin James In Line For Week 13 Return

 

As for the teams trying to get into the playoff picture, the Raiders travel across the country to tangle with the New York Jets. New York has won two straight and is trying to catch Oakland in a trap game, with the Raiders taking on the Chiefs in Week 13 at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City has a bye week, so a win for the Raiders puts them into a tie atop the AFC West.

Elsewhere, the Steelers play the winless Bengals in Cincinnati while the Titans are one of two late-window games, hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars. A win, and suddenly Tennessee is back in the mix. Cleveland is also trying to climb into true contention with a third straight win, taking on the Miami Dolphins at FirstEnergy Stadium.

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