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AFC playoff picture: Chiefs and Patriots have the lead

Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, MA - OCTOBER 14: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots runs with the football in the third quarter of a game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium on October 14, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

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As we head into Week 10 of the NFL season, we’re taking our first look at the playoff picture, and the top two teams have separated themselves from the pack.

The Chiefs are the top team in the conference, but the Patriots are only a game behind and have the head-to-head tiebreaker. The Chiefs also have the Chargers to contend with in the AFC West, so Kansas City can’t get complacent.

Here’s how the race looks before Week 10:

1. Kansas City (8-1): Owns a one-game lead in the conference and a 1.5-game lead in the division.

2. New England (7-2): The Patriots appear destined to get their usual bye week.

3. Pittsburgh (5-2-1): After a sluggish start, the Steelers now control the AFC North.

4. Houston (6-3): The Texans are threatening to run away with the AFC South.

5. L.A. Chargers (6-2): They’d be a dangerous wild card.

6. Cincinnati (5-3): Marvin Lewis is on pace to save his job by getting the Bengals back to the playoffs.

7. Miami (5-4): They won’t catch the Patriots, but the Dolphins are very much alive in wild card contention.

8. Tennessee (4-4): : The Titans won a playoff game last season and fired Mike Mularkey anyway. Will they even get to the playoffs with Mike Vrabel?

9. Baltimore (4-5): John Harbaugh may need a winning streak and a playoff berth to save his job.

10. Jacksonville (3-5): The Jaguars currently own the tiebreaker over the Colts, based on having a better record in common games.

11. Indianapolis (3-5): The Colts look like they could go on a run over the second half of the season, but will it be enough to catch the Texans?

12. N.Y. Jets (3-6): The Jets have the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Broncos.

13. Denver (3-6): Two straight losing seasons could cost Vance Joseph his job.

14. Cleveland (2-6-1): The Browns are a little better. They need to get a lot better.

15. Buffalo (2-7): They keep losing no matter which of their three quarterbacks play.

16. Oakland (1-7): Jon Gruden won’t be making the playoffs in his first year back in Oakland.