The AFC’s six playoff teams are set, but the Wild Card is still to be determined
Entering the 17th and final week of the NFL regular season, the six AFC playoff teams have been determined. But the Wild Card teams in the AFC playoff bracket have yet to be determined.
The Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins are all vying for position in the AFC Wild Card race. The Dolphins will be one of the Wild Card teams. The Raiders and Chiefs are battling for the AFC West title and first-round bye, while the second place team will have to settle for a Wild Card spot.
The Raiders can simplify the Wild Card race by beating Denver on Sunday. A Raiders win clinches the AFC West title. A loss on Sunday and a Chiefs win would result in the Raiders being the top Wild Card team and playing Houston in round one. The Raiders beat the Texans in a Monday Night Football home game in Mexico City.
The Miami Dolphins will be one of the two Wild Card teams, its just a matter of which one. A win on Sunday against New England and a Chiefs loss would result in the Chiefs and Dolphins tying for the fifth seed. Since New England needs a win to ensure home field advantage throughout the playoffs, the Dolphins will have to play against all of the Patriots’ starters. If the Dolphins lose on Sunday, they will travel to Heinz Field to play the Pittsburgh Steelers. Miami beat Pittsburgh earlier this season at home 30-15, behind Jay Ajayi’s 204 yards rushing and two-touchdown performance.
Regardless of the outcomes of the Raiders and Dolphins games, the Chiefs will be focused on beating the San Diego Chargers. A Kansas City win guarantees the Chiefs at least the fifth seed. The Chiefs lost to Houston in week two, 19-12. If the Chiefs win and Oakland loses, the Chiefs become the number two seed.