Among the top nine AFC teams in the NFL playoff picture, eight of them are facing each other in Week 14.
The Steelers, currently slated to be the No. 1 seed in the AFC, visit Buffalo on Sunday Night Football.
The Chiefs, No. 2 in the AFC, visit the No. 6 Dolphins on Sunday afternoon. The Browns, No. 5 in the AFC standings, host the No. 9 Ravens on Monday night. And the No. 7 Colts visit the No. 8 Raiders.
Among the top AFC contenders, only the No. 4 Titans, who visit the Jaguars, are not facing another playoff contender.
There’s plenty of intrigue in all four games. The Steelers have been atop the AFC standings all season, but a loss to the Bills combined with a Chiefs win would change that. On the other hand, if the Steelers beat the Bills and the Dolphins beat the Chiefs, the Steelers strengthen their grip on home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs, and the Dolphins find themselves tied with the Bills for first place in the AFC East. The Browns could make a strong statement that they’re for real and put a nail in the Ravens’ coffin — or the Ravens could put themselves right back in the playoff mix. The Colts-Raiders winner will be in playoff position with three weeks to play, while the loser will be on the outside looking in.
We’ll know a lot more about the AFC playoff race in a week than we know now.