NFL Playoff Picture: Competition for AFC's No. 1 seed heats up


The AFC playoff race could be gearing up for a photo finish.

The New England Patriots entered their bye week as the AFC's No. 1 seed and were guaranteed to keep the top spot thanks to tiebreakers over the Tennessee Titans, Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens.

But the Chiefs and Titans both enacted those tiebreakers by winning in Week 14.

After Kansas City's 48-9 rout of the Las Vegas Raiders and Tennessee's 20-0 blanking of the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Patriots, Chiefs and Titans are all 9-4. New England owns the tiebreaker with the best in-conference record (7-1), followed by Tennessee (6-3) and Kansas City (4-4).

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After losing to the AFC North rival Cleveland Browns (and losing quarterback Lamar Jackson to a sprained ankle), the Ravens (8-5) have slipped to the No. 5 seed behind the Los Angeles Chargers, who shot up to No. 4 by routing the New York Giants.

Meanwhile, the Tom Brady did the Patriots a solid by throwing the game-winning touchdown pass in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' overtime win over the Buffalo Bills. After their fifth loss in eight games, the Bills are two full games behind New England in the AFC East with four games remaining.

So, where does the AFC race stand after Week 14? Here's an updated look at the AFC playoff picture after Sunday's games. This story will be updated through Monday night's game.

In a Playoff Spot

1. New England Patriots, 9-4 (AFC East leader)

2. Tennessee Titans, 9-4 (AFC South leader)


3. Kansas City Chiefs, 9-4 (AFC West leader)

4. Baltimore Ravens, 8-5 (AFC North leader)

5. Los Angeles Chargers, 8-5 (First wild card)

6. Indianapolis Colts, 7-6 (Second wild card)

7. Buffalo Bills, 7-6 (Third wild card)

On the Bubble

8. Cleveland Browns, 7-6

9. Cincinnati Bengals, 7-6

10. Denver Broncos, 7-6

11. Pittsburgh Steelers, 6-6-1

12. Las Vegas Raiders, 6-7

13. Miami Dolphins, 6-7