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NFL Playoff Picture: Patriots lose in Miami, but don’t lose ground in the AFC

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The AFC had an ugly week.

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The New England Patriots lost on a last second play to the Miami Dolphins, but they weren’t the only team to fall at the end of the game.

The top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs needed a last-minute score to tie the game with the Baltimore Ravens, forced a last-minute fumble, missed a last-minute field goal, and managed to win by a field goal in overtime.

But the rest of the AFC had a tough day.

The second-seeded Patriots lost to the longest game-winning play from scrimmage with time expiring. The third-seeded Houston Texans lost at home to the division rival Indianapolis Colts. And the fourth-seeded Pittsburgh Steelers suffered an embarrassing final-second loss to the hapless and tanking Oakland Raiders.

The Los Angeles Chargers won to move to 10-3, but they’re stuck behind the Chiefs in the standings and are likely the wild card team. The final wild card spot is going to be a huge race as four teams are tied at 7-6 and the Denver Broncos are close behind at 6-7.

The Patriots are fortunate that the rest of the AFC had a tough day because they didn’t lose any ground in the playoff race. While they’re unlikely to catch the Chiefs for the top seed, they remain in strong position to claim the second seed and a first round bye if they can bounce back next week with a strong win against the Steelers.

AFC

  1. (11-2) Kansas City Chiefs
  2. (9-4) New England Patriots
  3. (9-4) Houston Texans
  4. (7-5-1) Pittsburgh Steelers
  5. (10-3) Los Angeles Chargers
  6. (7-6) Baltimore Ravens

In the hunt: (7-6) Indianapolis Colts; (7-6) Miami Dolphins; (7-6) Tennessee Titans; (6-7) Denver Broncos

NFC

  1. (11-2) New Orleans Saints - Clinched NFC South
  2. (11-2) Los Angeles Rams - Clinched NFC West
  3. (9-4) Chicago Bears
  4. (8-5) Dallas Cowboys
  5. (7-5) Seattle Seahawks - Playing on Monday Night
  6. (6-5-1) Minnesota Vikings - Playing on Monday Night

In the hunt: (6-7) Philadelphia Eagles; (6-7) Washington; (6-7) Carolina Panthers