Updated 03:07 AM EST, Tue, Nov 30, 2021

NFL Playoffs 2014 Playoff Picture: In AFC, Broncos Lock Up Home-Field, Patriots on Verge of Clinching 1st-Round Bye, & Steelers Fight for Their Playoff Lives

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The division titles are set in the AFC conference going into the last weekend of the National Football League (NFL) season, with teams scrambling for the last first-round bye spot that could be the difference from playing an extra game in the postseason as well as hosting a home game.

The Denver Broncos (12-3) locked up home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, having defeated the Houston Texans last week 37-13 in a game that saw Broncos QB Peyton Manning break the single-season touchdown NFL record, surpassing New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's previous record of 50 touchdowns.

But the second first-round bye and last wild-card spot are still up for grabs with the Patriots (11-4) a game ahead of the AFC North champions Cincinnati Bengals (10-5) and AFC South champs Indianapolis Colt (10-5), and must win at home against the Buffalo Bills to clinch the bye. The Colts can clinch with a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars and losses by the Patriots and the Bengals - who are matched up against the Baltimore Ravens (8-7), with the defending Super Bowl champions currently on the outside looking in at the playoffs, sitting a game behind the final wild-card spot.

The Ravens had an opportunity to clinch last Sunday but were throttled by the Patriots 41-7, losing their spot to the Miami Dolphins (8-7), who have rebounded from the controversy surrounding OLs Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin to contend for a postseason berth. The Dolphins missed a golden opportunity to separate themselves from the pack - which also includes the San Diego Chargers (8-7) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (7-8) - losing to the Buffalo Bills 19-0 last weekend, and need a win this weekend against the New York Jets to secure the second wild-card spot.

The Chargers are on a three-game winning streak, with QB Philip Rivers helping turn the team around after struggling at the start of the season and find themselves in a must-win situation against the Kansas City Chiefs (11-4), who may rest some of their starters after clinching the top wild-card spot last week despite getting hammered by the Colts 23-7 at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chargers still need losses by the Ravens and Dolphins if they hope to play in the postseason.

The Steelers upset the Bengals and Green Bay Packers the last two weeks, to start a two-game win streak that has kept them alive, but will be watching the scoreboard Sunday afternoon, needing losses by Dolphins, Ravens, and Chargers on top of beating the Cleveland Browns at home if they hope to crawl into the postseason.

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