The New England Patriots are still the No. 1 seed in the AFC despite their disappointing 37-20 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 9, but the defending Super Bowl champions' margin for error is getting thinner.
The Patriots lead the conference and AFC East at 8-1, but the Ravens aren't far behind at 6-2 atop the AFC North. Baltimore's victory over New England on Sunday night also gives it the crucial head-to-head tiebreaker in the event these teams are tied at the end of the regular season.
The Houston Texans beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 26-3 in London to move ahead of the Indianapolis Colts for the AFC South division lead. The Texans are now the No. 3 seed because they own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Kansas Chiefs as a result of their Week 6 win at Arrowhead Stadium.
The Chiefs beat the Minnesota Vikings at home on a last-second field goal with Matt Moore starting at quarterback for the injured Patrick Mahomes. Kansas City now has a two-game lead over the Oakland Raiders for first place in the AFC West.
The Buffalo Bills remain the first wild card team following a 24-9 victory against the one-win Washington Redskins. The Bills' upcoming schedule is very favorable, with matchups against the Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos over the next three weeks. It's a tremendous opportunity for Buffalo to fortify its standing in the playoff race and maybe even challenge the Patriots in the AFC East.
The Colts dropped to the second wild card spot after their disappointing 26-24 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road. Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri missed a potential go-ahead field goal with 1:11 remaining in the fourth quarter. Indy also lost starting quarterback Jacoby Brissett to a knee injury, and his Week 10 status is unknown at this time.
The Steelers, despite having lost starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for the rest of the season due to injury, have emerged as a very real threat in the wild card chase. Pittsburgh has won three consecutive games and four of its last five.
Here's an updated look at the AFC playoff picture after Sunday's Week 9 games.
1. New England Patriots, 8-1 (AFC East leader)
2. Baltimore Ravens, 6-2 (AFC North leader)
3. Houston Texans, 6-3 (AFC South leader)
4. Kansas City Chiefs, 6-3 (AFC West leader)
5. Buffalo Bills, 6-2 (First Wild Card)
6. Indianapolis Colts, 5-3 (Second Wild Card)
In the Hunt
7. Pittsburgh Steelers, 4-4
8. Oakland Raiders, 4-4
9. Jacksonville Jaguars, 4-5
10. Tennessee Titans, 4-5
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