2021 NFL Playoff Picture: Ranking AFC teams fighting for wild card spots with Colts rising after beating Pats

The NFL had a thriller to start Week 15 of its first 17-game season — and still no team in the AFC has clinched a playoff berth. No team in the league has clinched a playoff spot, the first time since the league expanded to 16 games in 1978 no team can stake a claim to a playoff berth through 14 weeks. 

The AFC continues to be wild and unpredictable, as 11 of the 16 teams are .500 or better. All four teams are separated by 1.5 games in the AFC North, while the biggest margin between first and second place of any team in AFC divisions is two. Nine teams still have a shot at the three wild card spots in the conference, setting the stage for an unpredictable final week. 

Only one team seems to be in good shape for one of the wild card spots in the AFC, but so much can change from week to week. Let’s take a revised look at the top contenders for the three wild card spots in the conference following the Colts’ thrilling victory over the Patriots on Saturday night.

Current AFC division leaders

The AFC division leaders as Week 15 begins with two thrillers. All currently have a playoff spot locked up if they claim the division crown. 

Chiefs (10-4) West*Titans (9-4) South
Patriots (9-5) East#Ravens (8-5) North*Played Thursday#Played Saturday

AFC wild card contenders, ranked

This is a ranking of the teams competing for a wild card spot in the AFC. Only three teams can make the playoffs, so the top three obviously have the best chance to make the postseason as we dive into Week 15. 

Remaining schedule: at Texans, vs. Broncos, at Raiders

Even with Thursday’s tough loss to the Chiefs, the Chargers are still in sole position of the No. 5 seed in the AFC standings — a half-game ahead of the madness of 7-6 teams in the conference. With a 5-4 conference record and two under .500 teams left on the schedule, the Chargers are in great position to make the playoffs. Ten wins should be enough to…

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