Five of the six playoff spots in the AFC are all but mathematically secure. Expect the Texans, Patriots, Broncos, Ravens and Colts to make it. That leaves one playoff spot left. After tinkering with ESPN's playoff scenario generator, I've determined the following...
The Steelers clinch a playoff berth with:
- A win over the Bengals AND the Cowboys OR Browns
- Wins over the Cowboys AND Browns PLUS Bengals losses to the Eagles AND Ravens
The Bengals clinch a playoff berth with:
- A win over the Steelers AND the Eagles OR Ravens
- Wins over the Eagles AND Ravens PLUS Steelers losses to the Cowboys AND Browns
The Jets clinch a playoff berth with:
- Wins over the Titans, Chargers AND Bills PLUS Steelers losses to ANY TWO of the Cowboys, Bengals and Browns PLUS Bengals losses to ANY TWO of the Eagles, Steelers and Browns
Realistically, it comes down to the Steelers and Bengals. The Dolphins, Browns, Chargers and Bills each have eight losses, and the Jets have to win out and hope for both the Steelers and Bengals to lose two of their last three games.
Sadly, I'm not sure that any of these teams even deserve to make the playoffs.