AFC playoff scenarios for 2013 got a little less complicated on Sunday (Dec. 15). The updated 2013 AFC playoff standings have the Denver Broncos still holding on to that No. 1 seed. The Kansas City Chiefs destroyed the Oakland Raiders, though, pulling the team into a tie for first place in the AFC West. Both teams hold identical 11-3 records heading into the final two weeks of the regular season.
Denver holds the head-to-head tie-breaker over Kansas City, maintaining the No. 1 seed for now. It relegates the Chiefs to the first wild card slot and the No. 5 seed. Both teams have already clinched slots in the postseason, clearing up at least that piece of information. On Sunday, the New England Patriots could have taken over that No. 1 spot, but the team got beaten by the Miami Dolphins instead.
With another clutch win, the Dolphins have improved to 8-6 and have taken over the second wild card spot in the current 2013 AFC playoff scenarios. That's an important piece of information, but the team has to finish with a better record than the Baltimore Ravens to make the postseason now. The 7-6 Ravens play on Monday night (Dec. 15) against the Detroit Lions and also own the head-to-head tie-breaker with the Dolphins. If there is a tie at the end of the season, the Ravens secure the spot.
The Cincinnati Bengals have the No. 3 seed and first place in the AFC North, but the team needs a win to clinch it over the Ravens. At 9-4 heading into the Sunday night game, the team will hold the No. 3 slot no matter what the outcome might be. As for the No. 4 seed, that is where the 9-5 Indianapolis Colts currently reside. The team has clinched its division already, but the Colts lose the head-to-head tie-breaker with the Bengals when it comes to seeding.
The 7-7 San Diego Chargers are also alive, but the team needs a lot of help to sneak into the postseason. Losing to Miami puts them in the tough position to need two more wins and a lot of help from opponents playing Miami and Baltimore.
2013 AFC Playoff Standings
1. Denver Broncos (11-3)
2. New England Patriots (10-4)
3. Cincinnati Bengals (9-4)
4. Indianapolis Colts (9-5)
5. Kansas City Chiefs (11-3)
6. Miami Dolphins (8-6)
7. Baltimore Ravens (7-6)
8. San Diego Chargers (7-7)