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AFC playoff picture: Patriots, Dolphins meet in Week 17 with winner controlling playoff destiny

Bill Belichick shared his thoughts on the Patriots' close home loss to the Bengals in Week 16.

The Patriots and Dolphins both lost in Week 16, but they’re not out of the NFL playoff picture by any means.

In fact, the winner of the Week 17 Miami at New England game controls its playoff destiny, needing only to win in Week 18 to punch its wild card ticket.

Here’s how the AFC playoff picture looks after the Dolphins’ Christmas Day loss to the Packers:

1. Bills (12-3) Own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Chiefs.

2. Chiefs (12-3) Have to hope the Bills lose one.

3. Bengals (11-4) Big game looms against the Bills on Monday night.

4. Jaguars (7-8) Winner of their Week 18 game against the Titans wins the AFC South.

5. Ravens (10-5) Control their destiny in the AFC North.

6. Chargers (8-6) Closing in on clinching a wild card.

7. Dolphins (8-7) Still have a wild card lead.

8. Patriots (7-8) Haven’t been playing well, but still control their playoff destiny.

9. Jets (7-8) Zach Wilson has thrown away a promising season.

10. Titans (7-8) If they win in Week 18, they win their division.

11. Steelers (7-8) Still playing hard but it’s too little, too late.

12. Raiders (6-9) Lead the league in blowing leads.

13. Browns (6-9) Mathematically eliminated.

14. Colts (4-9-1) Mathematically eliminated.

15. Broncos (4-10) Mathematically eliminated.

16. Texans (2-12-1) Mathematically eliminated.