When week 16 of the 2023-24 NFL season ended, the Miami Dolphins joined the Baltimore Ravens as teams who were going to the AFC playoffs. The Los Angeles Chargers joined the New England Patriots, Tennessee Titans, & New York Jets as teams who wouldn’t compete in this season’s playoffs. As week 17 begins, let’s look at this week’s playoff picture.
This week, I’m going to split the AFC into 2 separate articles. In this article, I will only focus on scenarios where teams can have something positive when it comes to their playoff picture. In the next article, I will focus on potential elimination scenarios.
The Ravens can become the AFC North Champions if the Cleveland Browns lose or tie at home against the Jets, tonight. If that doesn’t happen, then the Ravens can still win the north, if they win or tie at home against the Dolphins. The Ravens would rather win, because that would also give them home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs.
The Jacksonville Jaguars can become the AFC South Champions, if they win at home against the Carolina Panthers, the Houston Texans lose at home to the Titans, & the Indianapolis Colts lose at home to the Raiders.
The Dolphins can become the AFC East Champions, if they win or tie, or if the Buffalo Bills lose or tie at home against the Patriots.
The (defending Super Bowl Champion) Kansas City Chiefs can become the AFC West Champions with a win or tie at home against the Cincinnati Bengals. They can also win the west, if the Denver Broncos lose or tie at home to the Chargers & the Raiders lose or tie.
The Browns can clinch a playoff berth, tonight, if they win or tie. If they lose, they can still clinch on Sunday, if any of the following scenarios happen: the Colts & the Texans lose or tie; the Jaguars lose or tie; the Bills lose; the Pittsburgh Steelers lose or tie on the road against the Seattle Seahawks.
The Bills can clinch a playoff spot, but a win at home against the Patriots by itself won’t be enough to do it. They will also need:
-the Steelers to lose or tie and…the Bengals to lose or tie; the Jaguars to lose or tie; the Texans & Colts to lose or tie.
-the Jaguars & Bengals to lose or tie.
-the Colts, Bengals, & Texans to lose or tie.
If the Bills tie the Patriots, then they will also need…
-the Steelers, Bengals, & Jaguars to lose.
-the Bengals & Steelers to lose and…the Texans or Colts to lose or tie.
-the Jaguars & Steelers to lose and…the Colts or Texans to lose or tie.
-the Steelers, Texans, & Colts to lose.
-the Bengals, Colts, & Texans to lose.
-the Jaguars & Bengals to lose and…the Texans or Colts to lose or tie.