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NFL Playoff Picture: AFC standings following Week 9

We take a look at the AFC playoff picture following Week 9 of the regular season.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins are working on finding the toughest route imaginable to the Playoffs if they are going to make the post-season tournament this year, but they are still in the middle of the chase of January football. Despite a three-game losing streak earlier this year, and now back-to-back losses, and an 0-4 record in the AFC East, the Dolphins do find themselves still in the hunt for an AFC Playoff berth.

Currently, the New England Patriots, leading the AFC East at 8-0, hold the top seed, while the Cincinnati Bengals, the AFC North leaders and an identical 8-0 record, are in the second seed, losing the strength of victory tiebreak. The Denver Broncos, who lost their first game of the season this week, are third as the AFC West leaders with a 7-1 record. The Indianapolis Colts, who beat the Broncos, are fourth with a 4-5 record, as the AFC South leaders.

The two Wildcard positions are currently held by the New York Jets, second in the AFC East with a 5-3 record, and the Pittsburgh Steelers, second in the AFC North at 5-4.

Behind them, the teams in the running for the playoffs include the Buffalo Bills and Oakland Raiders, both of whom are 4-4 on the year, with Buffalo ahead on the strength of victory tie break. Then the Kansas City Chiefs, Dolphins, and Houston Texans are all 3-5, with Kansas City beating the Dolphins on conference winning percentage, and the Dolphins beating the Texans on head-to-head results. The Jacksonville Jaguars, Baltimore Ravens, and Tennessee Titans are all 2-6 on the season, with Jacksonville claiming the 12th position in the conference based on strength of victory over Baltimore and win percentage in common games over the Titans. The Ravens then beat the Titans on win percentage in common games.

The San Diego Chargers and Cleveland Browns round out the conference, both with 2-7 records. San Diego stays ahead of the Browns based on head-to-head results.

AFC Playoff Picture

Division Leaders

1 - New England Patriots (8-0) - AFC East Leaders
2 - Cincinnati Bengals (8-0) - AFC North Leaders
3 - Denver Broncos (7-1) - AFC West Leaders
4 - Indianapolis Colts (4-5) - AFC South Leaders

Wildcards

5 - New York Jets (5-3)
6 - Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4)

In the running

Buffalo Bills (4-4)
Oakland Raiders (4-4)
Kansas City Chiefs (3-5)
Miami Dolphins (3-5)
Houston Texans (3-5)
Jacksoncille Jaguars (2-6)
Baltimore Ravens (2-6)
Tennsee Titans (2-6)
San Diego Chargers (2-7)
Cleveland Browns (2-7)