Examining The AFC Playoff Chase

Published: Dec 05, 2013 14:00pm EST
By JLangley4, Sports Writer for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated Dec 05, 2013 @ 02:00pm EST


With just four games remaining in the NFL regular season, the playoff chase is begining to heat up in the AFC, a conference in which eight wins may be enough to claim the final wildcard spot. Let's take a look at each team, and examine how realistic it is that they make the playoffs.

1. Baltimore Ravens

Currently: 6-6; Claim 6th seed.

The Baltimore Ravens have one of the toughest stretches to finish off the season, but at the same time, they have one of the best chances and finishing off their quest for the playoffs with a berth. The Ravens currently hold the permamnent tie-breakers over the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins. So, if they were to finish the season tied with the Jets and Dolphins, the Ravens would win the tie-breaker, and move onto the postseason.

As it stands, the Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers, Tennessee Titans, and New York Jets would all have to finish 4-0 to finish 9-7, a tough feat to accomplish, and that is likely what it will take to finish ahead of the Ravens.

The return of Dennis Pitta will be huge for the Ravens, who are relatively healthy heading into the closing stretch. If the Ravens remain healthy, it is tough to imagine that they don't close it out, but anything can happen.

Playoff Proabability: 60%

2. Miami Dolphins

Currently: 6-6; lose tiebreaker with Baltimore.

The Dolphins have a favorable finish to their schedule, closing out with Pittsburgh, New England, Buffalo, and the New York Jets. They will likely lose to New England, making the three games against the others crucial. Traveling to Pittsburgh is never easy, and that is a game they could drop. The dolphins cannot afford to drop a game to Buffalo or New York, and if they do, it will be very tough to make the playoffs. If they get a win in Pittsburgh Sunday, their playoff chances will take a huge jump.

Playoff Probability: 65%

3. Pittsburgh Steelers

Currently: 5-7

Pittsburgh took a brutal loss against Baltimore, but to anyone who thinks they're done, that is crazy. Pittsburgh plays Miami Sunday, and that is a very winnable game. Following that, they play Cincinnati, Green Bay, and Cleveland. It is reasonable to think they could win three of those games, but if Aaron Rodgers returns for their tilt, it makes the task much tough against Green Bay. 8-8 seems like a reasonable record to expect for the Steelers, but it will depend on how the others ahead of them finish on whether or not it will be enough.

Playoff Probability: 45%

4. San Diego Charger

Currently: 5-7

The San Diego Chargers finish off their season with the New York Giants, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, and Kansas City Chiefs. Even though three of the four games are at home, it is tough to expect them to win all four games, or even three of the four. The Chiefs and Broncos will be tough games, and the Giants are still playing hard. The Chargers will have to play their best football to pull this off.

Playoff Probability: 20%

5. Tennessee Titans

Currently: 5-7

The Titans begin their stretch with two tough tasks, and finish it off with two very winnable games. The start the stretch with the Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals, but finish it off with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans. At this point, 7-9 is the most likely record, and that certainly won't be enough, but if they sneak a win from Denver or Arizona, than they can make things interesting.

Playoff Probablility: 15%

As it is any other year, the playoff picture is tough to predict, but at this point, the Miami Dolphins have the most favorable schedule to finish off what they started, and clinch a postseason berth. Baltimore's chances hinge on their Monday night showdown in Detroit. If they win this Sunday and win in Detroit, it is tough to imagine them not making it. But, at this point, the early favorites would be the Miami Dolphins.


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