Poll: Which two teams will claim AFC’s final two WC spots?
Through 14 weeks, five of the seven playoff spots in the AFC are accounted for. Buffalo should win the East, Kansas City will win the west, Tennessee will likely triumph in the south and Baltimore and Cincinnati will all but certainly both go dancing, with one as the division winner and the other as a Wild Card.
That leaves two spots at the bottom of the field up for grabs.
Thanks to last night's 27-13 win over the Colt McCoy-led Cardinals, the Pats are back in control of the 7-seed, and even control their own destiny to move as high as the 6-seed should they win out. Though, I hope there are no Pats fans out there holding their breath for that scenario to come true.
If we want to get real wild, the 5-seed is still technically in play for the Pats, they just don't control their destiny for that spot. It would require a severe slip, likely from the Ravens, who are currently down to their third string QB.
But let's stick with the facts for now. Here's what the bottom of the field looks like according to FiveThirtyEight's predictive model:
6. Miami Dolphins (8-5) - 70% chance to make the playoffs.
7. New England Patriots (7-6) - 39% chance to make the playoffs.
8. L.A. Chargers (7-6) - 55% chance to make the playoffs.
9. N.Y. Jets (7-6) - 33% chance to make the playoffs.
As you can see, the Pats are fairly significant underdogs to qualify for postseason play, despite residing in one of the Wild Card spots with a quarter of the season left. That's because of a favorable schedule for the Bolts, and a not-so-favorable schedule for the Pats down the stretch, who after this week will face three teams with a combined 27-13 record in weeks 16-18.
So, take a look at the remaining schedules, listed in the poll below, and let us know who you think will claim the final two spots in the AFC's playoff field.