The AFC playoff picture is shaping into form as Week 15 ends and Week 16 approaches. For most fans, the reality of another losing season and missing the playoffs is in front of us. On the other side, division titles, home field advantage, and rivalry bragging rights will be up for grabs.
New teams have entered their name for a deep playoff run in the Buffalo Bills, as they attempt to possibly dethrone the New England Patriots. The Cleveland Browns are on their last leg against the Baltimore Ravens as the Ravens edge closer towards home field advantage. Let’s take a look at two of the upcoming Week 16 matchups and their playoff implications:
Current AFC Playoff Seeding
- Baltimore Ravens (12-2)
- New England Patriots (11-3)
- Kansas City Chiefs (10-4)
- Houston Texans (9-5)
- Buffalo Bills (10-4)
- Pittsburgh Steelers (8-6)
- Tennesse Titans (8-6)
- Cleveland Browns (6-8)
- Oakland Raiders (6-8)
Nine teams in the AFC are still remaining, and only six spots can be had. The Indianapolis Colts lost on Monday night to the New Orleans Saints; eliminating the Colts from playoff contention. Did the NFL schedule makers know there would be so many matchups that would determine playoff seedings for Week 15? Just as the Atlanta Falcons took down the San Francisco 49ers, there will be many teams gearing up to upset teams focused on a playoff run, so teams should not overlook any of their opponents coming down the stretch.
Browns Can Take Advantage of a Golden Opportunity
Do we want to see the Cleveland Browns sniff around the playoffs for another week? Maybe. While the passing game has had its struggles, handing the ball off to Nick Chubb 20+ times could lead to an upset victory this coming Sunday against the Ravens. Why not have one more week of intrigue with the Browns?
All Roads Could Lead Through Baltimore
A win for Baltimore could be the last nail in the coffin for the Browns, and we can rest assure they will relish in the opportunity. The Ravens have already clinched the AFC North title, hold the tiebreaker over the New England Patriots, and contain a two game lead on the Kansas City Chiefs. For the Ravens, you do not want to be swept by the Browns, given they were blown out by them earlier in the season.
Defense Can Bring Another Title to New England
Is this the moment? While the world awaits the Patriots demise, they actually need to win this game against a Bills team that seems poised to dethrone them. The defense may be leaned on for a turnover or two to put the Patriots offense in favorable field position.
No More Circling The Wagons For The Bills
The Bills have clinched a playoff spot, and this is the best opportunity to win the division and possibly host a playoff game. Josh Allen showed his poise under pressure in their late-win against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Can the Bills put enough points on the board against the Patriots defense? This is the moment ‘Bills Mafia’ has been waiting for.
Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan, USA TODAY Sports