AFC Playoff Scenarios: Week 17

"Jim Mora had it right." - Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

With all that happened in the AFC yesterday (including but not limited to your Houston Texans treating their Week 16 tilt against the Vikings as though no one was keeping score), it's time to update the AFC Playoff Picture from last week. All six playoff spots in the AFC have been spoken for, but the seeding has not been finalized. Here's the latest, courtesy of NFL Communications:

CLINCHED:
New England – AFC East
Denver – AFC West
Houston – AFC South
Baltimore – AFC North
Indianapolis – playoff spot
Cincinnati – playoff spot

HOUSTON TEXANS (at Indianapolis)

Houston clinches a first-round bye with:
1) HOU win or tie OR
2) NE loss or tie OR
3) DEN loss

Houston clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:
1) HOU win OR
2) HOU tie + DEN loss or tie OR
3) NE loss or tie + DEN loss

DENVER BRONCOS (vs. Kansas City)

Denver clinches a first-round bye with:
1) DEN win or tie OR
2) NE loss or tie

Denver clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:
1) DEN win + HOU loss or tie OR
2) DEN tie + HOU loss

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (vs. Miami)

New England clinches a first-round bye with:
1) NE win + DEN loss OR
2) NE win + HOU loss

New England clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:
1) NE win + DEN loss + HOU loss

Thus, it is still possible for your Houston Texans to clinch homefield advantage throughout the AFC Playoffs with a win in Indianapolis on Sunday. It is also still possible for them to fall all the way to the third seed in the AFC Playoffs, which would mean no bye and, assuming the Texans were victorious on Wild Card Weekend, having to play a rested team in New England or in Denver the following week.

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