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NFL Playoff picture: Dolphins making it harder, but still in AFC Playoff picture

The NFL is eight weeks into the 2015 regular season, with nine weeks to play. With a lot of football left to play, the AFC Playoff picture is not clear, but it is starting to come into focus.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

There are still nine weeks remaining in the NFL regular season, but the AFC Playoff picture is starting to fall into place. Through Week 8, the conference is the story of the three undefeated teams, then everyone else. As in, everyone else has at least three losses, making the Wildcard race wide open.

Currently, the Denver Broncos are sitting on top of the conference as the AFC West division leaders with a 7-0 record. The New England Patriots are in the second seed spot, leading the AFC East, with the Cincinnati Bengals the third seed as the AFC North division leader. Both the Patriots and Bengals are 7-0 with the Broncos, with NFL tied breaking procedures utilizing strength of victory to order the three franchises. The Indianapolis Colts, as the AFC South division leader, hold on to the fourth seed despite a 3-5 record and needing the head-to-head results to break a tie with the Houston Texans in the division.

The two Wildcard positions are currently held by the Oakland Raiders and New York Jets, both of whom are 4-3, with the Raiders getting the fifth seed position after beating the Jets this past weekend.

Just outside the Playoff positioning are the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are 4-4 on the year, followed by the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins, both at 3-4. Buffalo and Miami will play this weekend, with Buffalo currently holding the head-to-head tie break advantage after beating Miami in Week 3.

The Kansas City Chiefs and Texans are both 3-5, with Kansas City having beaten Houston this season. The two win teams then group together with the Jacksonville Jaguars currently 12th in the conference with a 2-5 record, then the San Diego Chargers, Cleveland Browns, and Baltimore Ravens all 2-6, with San Diego beating the Browns based on head-to-head results after the Browns eliminated Baltimore based on division tie breakers (head-to-head). Finally, the Tennessee Titans are 1-6 and in last place in the division.

AFC Playoff Standings:

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

5 - Oakland Raiders (4-3) - Wildcard 1
6 - New York Jets (4-3) - Wildcard 2

7 - Pittsburgh Steelers (4-4)
8 - Buffalo Bills (3-4)
9 - Miami Dolphins (3-4)
10 - Kansas City Chiefs (3-5)
11 - Houston Texans (3-5)
12 - Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5)
13 - San Diego Chargers (2-6)
14 - Cleveland Browns (2-6)
15 - Baltimore Ravens (2-6)
16 - Tennessee Titans (1-6)