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NFL Playoff Picture: Predicting the AFC playoff bracket heading into Week 14

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NFL Playoff Picture: Predicting the AFC playoff bracket heading into Week 14

We're one week closer to January football and the race in the AFC is still hot.

The top spots haven't done much shifting, but the Dolphins and Broncos are creeping their way into the mix.

Ahead of Week 14, here's how the AFC playoff picture is looking.

AFC Playoff Standings:

1. Kansas City Chiefs (10-2, 4-0)

Kansas City had a week they'd like to forget after a video was released of star running back Kareem Hunt assaulting a woman in a hotel earlier this year. The team cut him hours later.

After all of that, they traveled to Oakland and narrowly got a 40-33 win over the 2-10 Raiders. Now they welcome the Ravens' No. 1 total ranked defense in Week 14 with the 9-3 Chargers on their heels in the AFC West. 

Remaining Games: Ravens (7-5), Chargers (9-3), @Seahawks (7-5), Raiders (2-10).

2. New England Patriots (9-3, 3-0)

The Patriots hosted a very good Minnesota Vikings team and easily beat them 24-10.

With a tiebreaker over the red-hot Houston Texans, the Pats' next true test will come Week 15 when they travel to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers as they fight for the first-round bye.

Remaining Games: @Miami (6-6), @Steelers (7-4-1), Buffalo (4-8), Jets (3-9)

3. Houston Texans (9-3, 3-1)

After starting their season 0-3, the Texans have won nine straight after beating the Cleveland Browns 29-13 at home. 

Any team that wins nine straight games in the NFL should scare you, and while their remaining schedule is filled with OK teams, a few of them could bring that streak to a halt. 

Remaining Games: Colts (6-6), @Jets (3-9), @Eagles (6-6), Jacksonville (4-8)

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

The Steelers had a bit of a meltdown and allowed the Los Angeles Chargers to score 18 points on them in the fourth quarter of Sunday night's 33-30 loss.

Now the Ravens sit half a game back of the Steelers in the AFC North as Ben Roethlisberger and co. still have to face the Patriots and the Saints.

Remaining Games: @Raiders (2-10), Patriots (9-3), @Saints (10-2), Bengals (5-7)

5. Los Angeles Chargers (9-3, 2-2)

The Chargers made history Sunday night against the Steelers after becoming the first team in NFL history to beat them in Pittsburgh when trailing by 14 points or more.

Now they face three playoff contending teams over the next four weeks as they look to take the top AFC West spot from the Chiefs. 

Remaining Games: Bengals (5-7), @Chiefs (10-2), Ravens (7-5), @Denver (6-6)

6. Baltimore Ravens (7-5, 2-3)

The Ravens have won three straight under rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson and have the No. 1 ranked total defense in the league.

Sitting half a game back of the Steelers in the AFC North, Baltimore truly controls their own destiny as they head into Kansas City this weekend.

Remaining Games: @Chiefs (10-2), Buccaneers (5-7), @Chargers (9-3), Browns (4-7-1)

In The Hunt:

7. Miami Dolphins (6-6, 3-1)

The Dolphins just barely held off the Buffalo Bills Sunday to earn a division win and bump them up in the hunt to the playoffs.

Their next two matchups could throw a wrench in their postseason plans. 

Remaining Games: Patriots (9-3) @Vikings (6-5), Jacksonville (4-8), @Bills (4-8)

8. Indianapolis Colts (6-6, 2-2)

After a pretty surprising loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, the Colts are now a full game back of the Ravens for the final wild card spot. Catching up to the Houston Texans as they sit atop of AFC South seems pretty far-fetched as well.

Remaining Games: @Texans (9-3), Cowboys (7-5), Giants (5-8), @Tennessee (6-6)

9. Denver Broncos (6-6, 2-2)

The Broncos are still alive after beating the Cincinnati Bengals 24-10 Sunday. Their remaining schedule and sitting third in the AFC West behind the Chiefs and Chargers doesn't do them any favors, however.

Remaining Games: @Niners (2-10), Browns (4-7-1), @Raiders (2-10), Chargers (9-3)

10. Tennessee Titans (6-6, 2-2)

The Titans barely got a win against the New York Jets in Week 13 and dropped two spots in the playoff picture.

Remaining Games: Jacksonville (4-8), @Giants (4-8), Redskins (5-7), Colts (6-6)

11. Cincinnati Bengals (5-7, 1-3)

The Bengals lost Andy Dalton to a thumb injury and now A.J. Green as the receiver must undergo season-ending toe surgery. They're also sitting third in the AFC North.

Remaining Games: @Chargers (9-3), Raiders (2-10), @Browns (4-7-1), @Steelers (7-4)

12. Cleveland Browns (4-7-1, 2-1-1)

The Browns don't have much hope at making the playoffs, but could rack up some more wins with their remaining schedule.

Remaining Games: Panthers (6-6), @Broncos (6-6), Bengals (5-7), @Ravens (7-5)

13. Buffalo Bills (4-8, 1-2)

Josh Allen was so close to getting a comeback win for the Bills on Sunday in their 21-17 loss. 

Remaining Games: Jets (3-9), Lions (4-8), @Patriots (9-3), Miami (6-6)

14. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8, 1-3)

It only took two field goals for the Jaguars to beat a decent Colts team in Week 13. Their playoff hopes, however, are very slim.

Remaining Games: @Titans (6-6), Redskins (5-7), @Miami (6-6), @Texans (9-3) 

15. New York Jets (3-9, 0-4)

Being 0-4 in the division does nothing for your playoff chances. 

@Bills (3-9), Texans (9-3), Packers (4-7), @Patriots (9-3)

Eliminated: Oakland Raiders

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Former Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees announces retirement

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Former Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees announces retirement

Former Ravens and Titans defensive coordinator Dean Pees announced his retirement from coaching Monday afternoon, just a day after Tennessee lost in the AFC Championship Game to Kansas City.

Pees, at age 70, had just finished his 47th year of coaching. He had previously been a coordinator for the Titans, Ravens and Patriots at the NFL level. He began coaching at the University of Findlay (OH) in 1979 as a defensive coordinator where he rose through the college ranks. 

Pees was in Baltimore from 2010-2017, where he started as a linebackers coach and was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2012. He won Super Bowl XLVII with the Ravens.

During his time as a coordinator, the Ravens ranked in the top 10 of scoring defenses three times, where he saw franchise greats like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed end their careers.

Pees’ defense in Tennessee this season stiffened down the stretch, as it allowed just 25 total points in the first two playoff games against New England and Baltimore. The Titans lost 35-24 to the Chiefs on Sunday.

In 10 of his 12 seasons as a defensive coordinator in the NFL, Pees led his defenses to a top 12 finish in points allowed.

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Former Raven Terrell Suggs and the Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl-bound

Former Raven Terrell Suggs and the Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl-bound

Terrell Suggs and the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Tennessee Titans 35-24 Sunday to advance to Super Bowl LIV in Miami. 

Suggs, who spent 16 seasons with the Ravens, will look to cement his Hall of Fame candidacy with a victory in his second Super Bowl appearance (Won SB XLVII) this time as a member of the AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs.

Suggs departed from Baltimore before the 2019 season, signing a one-year deal with his hometown Arizona Cardinals before being waived mid-season. 

The Ravens were rumored to be interested in a reunion with their all-time leader in sacks but did not put in a claim, being last in waiver priority, and Suggs was claimed by the Kansas City Chiefs.



While the Ravens' 2019 season ended prematurely at the hands of the Titans, fans in Baltimore can take solace knowing that Suggs and the Chiefs helped bring the Titans' magical season to an end.

Suggs' accolades (2011 AP Def. Player of the Year, 2003 AP Def. Rookie of the Year, 7x Pro-Bowl, 1x All-Pro) will stand the test of time, but adding a second Super Bowl ring to his resume would make his Hall of Fame candidacy that much greater. 

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