AFC Playoff Scenario Chart Will Make Your Head Spin

For the brave fans who plan to process all the possible AFC playoff scenarios before the games on Sunday — I salute you. There are so many possibilities, outcomes, and head-scratches that you are better off going into the weekend clueless like those who cover football probably will.

Here’s a look. Grab a pen:

In past years, the race for No. 2 would be intense, but this year, the 2nd seed no longer gets a first-round bye. Additionally, home-field advantage during a pandemic is less important in a potential 2-3 matchup. The Steelers apparently agree because they are resting Ben Roethlisberger in Week 17 against the Browns, who are in must-win territory.

The advantage between the Steelers and Bills won’t be the higher seed, but the easier first-round matchup. That won’t be known until the rest of this mess is final. If the Steelers and Bills meet in the second round, I like the Bills to win.

Somehow, the Titans have yet to win the AFC South. The Colts could take the crown, earn a wild card, or even miss the playoffs. In fact, due to tiebreakers, missing the playoffs is their most likely outcome.

Looking ahead to the playoffs, bet on the teams playing the best. Super Bowls are won in December when a team minimizes their flaws and maximizes their strengths. (See Kansas City last year). This season, the Bills are that team. Buffalo is hitting on all cylinders, while Kansas City has won seven straight ugly, lucky, one-possession football games.

Week 17 should be fun, but it will also be confusing. I mean, did you see that chart? And that’s assuming there are no ties, which would be so 2020.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.

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