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Sep 23, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (90) reacts after a touchdown by the New York Giants during the first quarter at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Home » Blog » NFL Week 16: AFC storylines to watch

NFL Week 16: AFC storylines to watch

The NFL season only has 32 more regular-season games left in it before we turn to the playoffs. Some teams are already out of contention, while others have clinched their spot in the postseason.

Week 16 is all about clearing up the playoff picture. In the AFC, here are some things to watch with a few predictions thrown in.

– The Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans are going to be playing on Sunday Night Football come Week 17. Why? Because their matchup in Nashville is going to be the most important contest going. Right now, both are on the outside of the playoff picture, tied with the sixth-seeded Baltimore Ravens at 8-6. However, Baltimore has to take on the Los Angeles Chargers at StubHub Center, while the Titans host the Washington Redskins and the Colts welcome in the New York Giants. In all likelihood, Tennessee and Indianapolis will hop over Baltimore and play for the sixth seed next Sunday.

– Speaking of the Ravens, they have a huge game with the Chargers on Saturday night. A win would do wonders, but it likely wouldn’t impact the above observation of Tennessee and Indy playing for the sixth seed. Here’s why: the Pittsburgh Steelers lead the AFC North by a half-game but are visiting the New Orleans Saints this Sunday. There’s a real possibility that the Saints take care of business and beat Pittsburgh. If that happens and Baltimore takes care of Los Angeles, the Ravens would only need to beat the Cleveland Browns in Charm City come Week 17 to take home the division title. Pittsburgh, even with a Week 17 win, would be 9-6-1. The winner of the Colts-Titans game would beat it out.

– There’s some more craziness to discuss at the top of the AFC playoff picture. The Kansas City Chiefs are trying to maintain their tenuous hold on the top seed by beating the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night. A loss and the Chiefs would need the Chargers to lose one of their two final games, or they are staring at the fifth seed. Kansas City gets the Oakland Raiders at home in Week 17, so beating Seattle would al but guarantee that the road to the Super Bowl in the AFC goes through Arrowhead Stadium.

– Finally, the New England Patriots and Houston Texans are battling for the second seed. Houston is trying to fend off the two-time AFC champs by beating the Philadelphia Eagles, who suddenly have new life with Nick Foles. Conversely, a loss would put Houston in the position of needing New England to lose at home to either the Buffalo Bills or New York Jets over the final two games. Obviously, that’s not likely. Keep an eye on the Texans in Philadelphia.

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