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AFC Playoff Picture Week 10: It's Finally Bye Week

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How do the San Diego Chargers playoff chances look after receiving a beatdown in Miami?

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Current playoff picture

Division Leaders

(1) Patriots (7-2)

(2) Broncos (6-2)

(3) Bengals (5-2-1)

(4) Colts (6-3)

Wild Card Leaders

(5) Steelers (6-3, 5-2 vs AFC)

(6) Chiefs (5-3, 4-2 vs AFC)

Contenders

(7) Browns (5-3, 3-3 vs AFC)

(8) Bills (5-3, 2-3 vs AFC)

(9) Dolphins (5-3, 4-2 vs AFC)

(10) Chargers (5-4, 4-3 vs AFC)

(11) Ravens (5-4, 2-4 vs AFC)

(12) Texans (4-5, 3-2 vs AFC)

Chargers Week 10 Opponent: Bye Week

Oh how much can change in one Sunday. This time last week, the Chargers were in position to take the number 5 seed in the playoffs. After a shutout loss in week 9, they have dropped all the way down to number 10. Mercifully to the team and the fans, the Chargers do not have to play a game this weekend. The bye week brings a bit of hope to a team that has looked like it has been on a bye for the past 3 games. The Bolts expect to get Ryan Mathews back after the break, which should be huge for a struggling rushing attack. Jerry Attaochu appears to be close to returning as well, and the team could really use him. He has only rushed the passer 37 times in 2014, and has managed a sack and 3 QB hurries, according to PFF. Jarret Johnson has rushed 111 times and has a sack and 4 hurries.

Jahleel Addae, Jason Verrett, Manti Te'o, and Melvin Ingram all appear to be on track to return at some point this season, but the timeline is unclear for them. One thing is certain - San Diego's defense could use all of their services.

What to Watch For:

Browns at the Bengals

This game is a bit tricky for playoff seeding, as pretty much every team in the AFC North is still a contender to win the division. Cincinnati is the current leader, and a win at home would push the Browns down to 5-4. Since I see the Browns as a wild-card contender more than a division contender, I'm hoping the Bengals take care of business on Thursday Night Football.

Chiefs at the Bills

The Bills could help out the Chargers in a big way by beating the Chiefs on Sunday. Both have the same record, but the Chargers beat the Bills and have lost to the Chiefs once already. Either way, games among wild-card contenders are a good way to clear up what is a very murky playoff picture.

Dolphins at the Lions

Easy one here, go Lions. We will learn a lot more about the team that just destroyed the Chargers over the next three weeks, as play at the Lions, home against the Bills, and at the Broncos.

Titans at the Ravens

An unlikely upset by the Titans would help the Bolts.

Steelers at the Jets

Another unlikely upset, a Jets win would push the Steelers back into the middle of the Wild Card mess.