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AFC Playoff Picture: Chiefs’ loss puts distance between front runners and the pack

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The Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots are sitting atop the AFC, with the rest of the conference in catch-up mode.

Kansas City Chiefs v New York Giants Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Week 11 is officially in the books for the AFC, and after the week that was, the conference is certainly up for grabs — for a few teams.

Those teams would be the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots, both sitting at 8-2 heading into Week 12, but don’t sleep on the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars hold the head-to-head win over Pittsburgh, which is certainly incentive for the Steelers to keep their distance ahead of Jacksonville.

After these three teams, however, the conference is pretty much up for grabs.

The Kansas City Chiefs, and the rest of the AFC West for that matter, are pretty much a jumbled mess. The Chiefs, once the lone undefeated team in the NFL, have lost four of their last five games, while the Broncos don’t have a quarterback and the Raiders are making their 2016 season look more and more like a flash in the pan.

It’s hard to believe there’s a 5-5 team—the Ravens for that matter—holding the sixth spot in the playoff picture, but this is the reality of the AFC in 2017—a few really good teams plus a lot of mediocre teams. Nonetheless, while there’s still a lot of football left to be played, take a look at the current AFC Playoff Picture below, the remaining schedules for the top-6 teams, and make your predictions as to where the teams will finish when the dust settles.

AFC Playoff Picture

1. Pittsburgh Steelers - 8-2 (Remaining Games: vs. Packers (5-5), at Bengals (4-6), vs. Ravens (5-5), vs. Patriots (8-2), at Texans (4-6), vs. Browns (0-10))

2. New England Patriots - 8-2 (Remaining Games: vs. Dolphins (4-6), at Bills (5-5), at Dolphins (4-6), at Steelers (8-2), vs. Bills (5-5), vs. Jets (4-6))

3. Jacksonville Jaguars - 7-3 (Remaining Games: at Cardinals (4-6), vs. Colts (3-7), vs. Seahawks (6-3), vs. Texans (4-6), at 49ers (1-9), at Titans (6-4))

4. Kansas City Chiefs - 6-4 (Remaining Games: vs. Bills (5-5), at Jets (4-6), vs. Raiders (4-6), vs. Chargers (4-6), vs. Dolphins (4-6), at Broncos (3-7))

5. Tennessee Titans - 6-4 (Remaining Games: at Colts (3-7), vs. Texans (4-6), at Cardinals (4-6), at 49ers (1-9), vs. Rams (7-3), vs. Jaguars (7-3))

6. Baltimore Ravens - 5-5 (Remaining Games: vs. Texans (4-6), vs. Lions (6-4), at Steelers (8-2), at Browns (0-10), vs. Colts (3-7), vs. Bengals (4-6))
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7. Buffalo Bills - 5-5
8. Miami Dolphins - 4-6
9. New York Jets - 4-6
10. Cincinnati Bengals - 4-6
11. Houston Texans - 4-6
12. Los Angeles Chargers - 4-6
13. Oakland Raiders - 4-6