- Field Yates, ESPN Insider
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MIAMI -- A window opened for the New England Patriots to secure the top seed in the AFC after the Denver Broncos fell to the San Diego Chargers on Thursday night. The Patriots had to win their remaining three games, but after Sunday’s loss to the Miami Dolphins, their outlook has been readjusted.
The Patriots are once again second in the AFC standings after the Cincinnati Bengals fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night. If the Patriots with their final two games, they'll secure at least the second seed in the AFC, which would result in a first-round bye.
Below is an up-to-date look at the AFC playoff standings.
1. x - Denver: 11-3
2. New England: 10-4
3. Cincinnati: 9-5 (holds head-to-head advantage over Colts)
4. z - Indianapolis: 9-5
Wild Card leaders
5. x - Kansas City: 11-3
6. Miami: 8-6
In the hunt
7. Baltimore: 7-6 (plays on Monday night at Detroit. Holds head-to-head advantage over Dolphins)
8. San Diego: 7-7
Notes: x = clinched playoff berth, z = clinched division
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