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AFC Playoff picture: Week 15 results starting to solidifcy NFL Playoffs

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Week 15 is in the books for the AFC, which means we can look at where the playoff picture stands with two weeks to go.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Week 15 of the NFL season is nearly complete, with the Monday night game between the Detroit Lions and New Orleans Saints all that remains on the schedule. A Monday Night Football game featuring two NFC teams means the AFC Playoff picture update is complete for the week, allowing us to look at the current standings for the postseason tournament.

The AFC is down to nine teams alive for the Playoffs, with the Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens, San Diego Chargers, Cleveland Browns, and Tennessee Titans all eliminated from contention.  Meanwhile, two teams, the New England Patriots and the Cincinnati Bengals, are locked into the Playoffs. New England has locked up a first round bye for the playoffs, meaning they can only fall as low as the second seed, while the Bengals are only assured of a playoff berth, meaning they could fall out of their division lead position and down to a Wildcard, if they were to lose out.

The full standings for the AFC are:

AFC Playoff Picture

Current Playoff Teams:

1 - New England Patriots (12-2, AFC East Champs, 1st rnd bye)
2 - Cincinnati Bengals (11-3, AFC North lead, Playoff berth)
3 - Denver Broncos (10-4, AFC West lead)
4 - Houston Texans (7-7, AFC South lead)

5 - Kansas City Chiefs (9-5)
6 - Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5)
Tie breaks: Chiefs (8-2) beat Steelers (6-4) and Jets (6-4) based on conference record. Steelers beat Jets based on common game wins.

In Contention:

New York Jets (9-5, Wildcard contention)
Indianapolis Colts (6-8, AFC South contention)
Jacksonville Jaguars (5-9, AFC South contention)

Eliminated:

Oakland Raiders (6-8)
Buffalo Bills (6-8)
Miami Dolphins (5-9)
Baltimore Ravens (4-10)
San Diego Chargers (4-10)
Cleveland Browns (3-11)
Tennessee Titans (3-11)