Week 17 AFC playoff scenarios

December, 29, 2013
12/29/13
12:00
PM ET
The Patriots will kick off with the Bills later this afternoon for their regular-season finale, with a win clinching at least a top-two seed in the AFC.

We’ll have a better idea of exactly how the AFC postseason picture will look by kickoff, however, and below is a snapshot of the AFC playoff standings leading into Week 17 and the various possibilities for the Patriots.

Division leaders
1. z - Denver: 12-3 (clinched top-two seed)
2. z - New England: 11-4
3. z - Cincinnati: 10-5
4. z - Indianapolis: 10-5
(z = clinched division)

Wild-card leaders
5. x - Kansas City: 11-4
6. Baltimore: 8-7
(x = clinched playoff berth)

In the hunt
7. Miami: 8-7
8. San Diego: 8-7
9. Pittsburgh: 7-8

Week 17 scenarios:
The Patriots can clinch the first seed with: a win and a Broncos loss
The Patriots can clinch at least the second seed with: a win or a Bengals loss and a Colts loss
The Patriots would earn the third seed with: a loss and a Bengals win or Colts a win
The Patriots would earn the fourth seed with: a loss and a Bengals win and a Colts win
Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.

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