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NFL Playoff Picture: Predicting the AFC playoff bracket heading into Week 13

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USA TODAY Sports

NFL Playoff Picture: Predicting the AFC playoff bracket heading into Week 13

The AFC playoff picture is a full-blown race to the finish line heading into Week 13.

Besides a few shoo-ins, the final playoff spot could belong to a handful of teams.

Here's a look at the AFC playoff bracket with five games to play.

AFC Playoff Standings:

1. Kansas City Chiefs (9-2, 3-0)

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs have been a force to be reckoned with throughout the 2018 season, and considering they're 5-0 at home, their remaining schedule is very much in their favor.

It'd be tough to see the Chiefs ending anywhere but the top.

Remaining Games: @Raiders (2-9), Ravens (6-5), Chargers (8-3), @Seahawks (6-5), Raiders (2-9).

2. New England Patriots (8-3, 3-1)

To the surprise of no one the Patriots are once again leading the AFC East. 

Even with three of their last five games division matchups, expect to see the Patriots in January.

Remaining Games: Vikings (6-4-1), @Miami (5-6), @Steelers (7-3-1), Buffalo (4-7), Jets (3-8)

3. Houston Texans (8-3, 3-1)

After starting their season 0-3, the Texans are on a hot streak winning their last eight games. 

With three very winnable games - against the Browns, Jets and Jacksonville - get ready for DeShaun Watson in the postseason.

Remaining Games: Browns (4-6), Colts (6-5), @Jets (3-8), @Eagles (5-6), Jacksonville (3-8)

4. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3-1, 3-1-1)

That late fourth quarter interception Big Ben threw against the Broncos Sunday could come back and haunt them seeding-wise with upcoming matchups with the Chargers, Patriots and Saints.

Heading into Week 13, the Steelers have a 93% chance of making the playoffs and an 86% chance of winning the division according to the New York Times' NFL Playoff Simulator.

Remaining Games: Chargers (8-3), @Raiders (2-9), Patriots (8-3), @Saints (10-1), Bengals (5-6)

5. Los Angeles Chargers (8-3, 2-2)

The Chargers have a tough road ahead of them, but could easily move up in the standings.

Philip Rivers completed his first 25 passes in the team's 45-10 win over the Cardinals Sunday, and they have won seven of their last eight. Running back Melvin Gordon is considered week-to-week with an MCL sprain, but the Rams aren't the only hot team in LA right now.

Remaining Games: @Steelers (7-3-1), Bengals (5-6), @Chiefs (9-2), Ravens (6-5), @Denver (5-6)

6. Baltimore Ravens (6-5, 2-3)

Several factors will go into whether or not the Ravens make the postseason for the first time in three years.

Who do they stick with at quarterback? Can they close out several easy matchups? Just to name a few.

It's truly week-to-week for this team as they fight for the final spot.

Remaining Games: @Falcons (4-7), @Chiefs (9-2), Buccaneers (4-7), @Chargers (8-3), Browns (4-6)

In The Hunt:

7. Indianapolis Colts (6-5, 2-1)

Andrew Luck is officially back - he threw three touchdowns in each of his last four games and 32 so far this season.

Expect Comeback Player of the Year for the QB even if the Colts don't make it to the playoffs

Remaining Games: @Jacksonville (3-8), @Texans (8-3), Cowboys (6-5), Giants (3-8), @Tennessee (5-6)

8. Tennessee Titans (5-6, 2-2)

Currently in a two-game losing streak, the Titans round out their season against fairly easy opponents. 

The Ravens hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Titans for the final spot.

Remaining Games: Jets (3-8), Jacksonville (3-8), @Giants (3-8), Redskins (5-6), Colts (6-5)

9. Miami Dolphins (5-6, 2-1)

The Dolphins' chase to the postseason will be a tough one after losing to the Colts 27-24 Sunday. Two wins against the Bills won't boost them in the division much.

Remaining Games: Bills (4-7), Patriots (8-3) @Vikings (6-4), Jacksonville (3-8), @Bills (4-7)

10. Cincinnati Bengals (5-6, 1-3)

The Bengals are on a three-game losing streak, and with QB Andy Dalton done for the season with a thumb injury, the postseason looks far-fetched. 

Remaining Games: Broncos (5-6), @Chargers (8-3), Raiders (2-9), @Browns (4-6), @Steelers (7-3)

11. Denver Broncos (5-6, 2-2)

The Broncos' road to January football will be an uphill battle, but with their last two wins coming against the Chargers and Steelers, suddenly they've got the AFC's attention.

Remaining Games: @Bengals (5-6), @Niners (2-9), Browns (4-6), @Raiders (2-9), Chargers (8-3)

12. Cleveland Browns (4-6, 2-1-1)

The Browns' season is already considered a success with four wins (which is four more than they had last season) and a fiery, young QB leading the way. Their playoff chances are very slim, but to be considered in the hunt is an accomplishment for this 2018 squad.

Remaining Games: @Texans (8-3), Panthers (6-5), @Broncos (5-6), Bengals (5-6), @Ravens (6-5)

13. Buffalo Bills (4-7, 1-1)

The Bills are on a two-game winning streak (!) but they came against the Jaguars and the Jets. They have a one percent chance of making the postseason.

Remaining Games: @Miami (5-6), Jets (3-8), Lions (4-7), @Patriots (8-3), Miami (5-6)

14. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-8, 0-3)

The Jags just benched quarterback Blake Bortles, so you could say things aren't going well down south.

Remaining Games: Colts (6-5), @Titans (5-6), Redskins (5-6), @Miami (5-6), @Texans (8-3) 

15. New York Jets (3-8, 0-4)

The Jets haven't won a division game, so the odds are certainly not in their favor.

Remaining Games: @Titans (5-6), @Bills (3-8), Texans (8-3), Packers (4-6), @Patriots (8-3)

16. Oakland Raiders (2-9, 0-3)

The Raiders' season ended a while ago.

Remaining Games: Chiefs (9-2), Steelers (7-3-1), @Bengals (5-6), Broncos (5-6), @Chiefs (9-2)

Eliminated: No one

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Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters backs out of Pro Bowl, replaced by Steelers' Joe Haden

Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters backs out of Pro Bowl, replaced by Steelers' Joe Haden

Marcus Peters was named to his third career Pro Bowl in 2019, but the Ravens cornerback has decided to back out of the NFL's All-Star game.

Pittsburgh cornerback Joe Haden will be headed to Orlando in Peters' place, the Steelers announced on Wednesday.

Peters will not participate in the Pro Bowl due to injury, according to the Steelers' release. The terms of his injury have not been disclosed, but Peters did not miss a game for the Ravens since coming over in an October trade.

Upon his arrival in the Charm City, the cornerback made a huge impact in Baltimore. Peters was named to the NFL's All-Pro team, recording three interceptions and two touchdowns in 10 games with the Ravens. The 26-year-old corner re-signed with Baltimore for three years this past December.

But after Baltimore's season came to an unexpectedly early end this past Saturday against Tennessee, the cornerback has chosen not to participate in a relatively meaningless game. It's worth noting that Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and his staff will be coaching the AFC in the Pro Bowl.

Baltimore had an NFL-high 12 players selected to the Pro Bowl this season, but at least one of them won't be in Orlando in two weeks.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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John Harbaugh, Ravens staff to coach AFC in 2020 Pro Bowl

John Harbaugh, Ravens staff to coach AFC in 2020 Pro Bowl

In addition to the 12 Pro Bowl selections for the Ravens, there will be some familiar faces in Orlando next weekend. 

Coach John Harbaugh and the rest of the Ravens' staff will head to Florida to coach the AFC in the Pro Bowl, the team announced Wednesday. They’re awarded the chance by virtue of having the AFC's best record no longer in the playoffs. 

The NFC team will be coached by Sean Payton and the rest of the Saints staff after they finished the regular season 13-3 but were eliminated by the Vikings in the Wild-Card round. 

The Ravens' coaching staff has previously coached the Pro Bowl, once in 2014, and will have the opportunity to coach an NFL-best 12 Ravens during the game.

It still remains to be seen who will play in the Pro Bowl for the Ravens, but Mark Andrews has confirmed he would play. Lamar Jackson was non-committal on Saturday immediately after the loss to the Titans.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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