With the Indianapolis Colts losing to the Jaguars in Jacksonville, the AFC Playoff Picture is wide open all of a sudden.
The Colts would’ve clinched a playoff spot with a win, but instead failed to register a victory against the lowly Jaguars. Indianapolis hasn’t won on the road in Jacksonville since 2014, a feat that truly makes no sense when you think about it.
The AFC Wild Card is mostly at play here, with the Colts, Steelers, Ravens, Chargers and Raiders all battling for two spots.
If the Colts lose, they can still get in — though it’s debatable how realistic that scenario is. Nonetheless, no one saw Indianapolis losing to the Jags as a realistic possibility, either.
AFC Wild Card: Playoff scenarios with Colts loss
UPDATE: The Colts lost to the Jaguars, while the Steelers defeated the Baltimore Ravens. Assuming the Chargers and Raiders don’t tie, the Steelers will make the playoffs, while the winner of Chargers and Raiders will hold the other Wild Card spot.
These were the AFC Wild Card scenarios heading into the final minutes of Jaguars-Colts:
- Colts: Indianapolis can still make the playoffs with a loss, but they would need the likes of the Steelers, Chargers and Patriots to lose as well. Talk about backing in. If the Steelers and Ravens tie, the Colts would remain in the playoffs.
- Steelers: The Steelers make the playoffs with a win and a Colts loss. Also, they’ll need the Chargers and Raiders to not tie — something that in most years would be a guarantee. If 2021-22 has taught us anything, however, it’s to expect the unexpected.
- Ravens: The Ravens can make the playoffs with a win over the Steelers, but they also need the Chargers and Colts to lose. Along with those results, the Dolphins would have to lose or tie against the Patriots.
- Chargers: The Chargers can make the playoffs with a win over the Raiders on Sunday Night Football.
- Raiders: The Raiders make the playoffs with a win over the Chargers on Sunday Night Football. They can also clinch if the Ravens beat the Steelers.
AFC Playoff matchups
The Titans have clinched a first-round bye as the No. 1 seed. The rest of the matchups are as follows:
- Chiefs face No. 7 seed, yet to be determined.
- Bills face No. 6 seed, yet to be determined.
- Patriots at Bengals (could change)
There you have it. The AFC Playoff picture is heating up in Week 18.
We’ll update this story with more information when results go final.