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AFC Playoff Picture: How did Sunday change things?

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How are things shaping up after week 10?

Miami Dolphins v San Diego Chargers Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images

The AFC playoff picture has not changed very much near the top this week with all six of the of the top seeds still ticketed for the playoffs if the season ended today. There was some minor reshuffling of those six teams, however.

The AFC West remains incredibly strong with only the Chargers losing this week.

The AFC East was unable to really get much of anything from the Patriots’ surprising loss at home to the Seahawks.

The AFC North actually has a team above .500 now, and that’s nice, I suppose.

In the AFC South, the Texans have a 1.5 game lead and it’s getting more difficult to picture anyone catching up to them.

1. New England Patriots (7-2) The Pats went into their Sunday Night Football showdown with the Seattle Seahawks as heavy favorites, but they found a way to lose at the end. It was not enough to drop them out of the top spot in playoff seeding, however.

2. Kansas City Chiefs (7-2) Led by Helix High grad Alex Smith, the Chiefs look like they could be well on their way to a division title and a first-round bye.

3. Houston Texans (6-3) After a divisional tilt against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Texans remain the third playoff seed. Getting to play six games against the AFC South must be nice.

4. Baltimore Ravens (5-4) Keyed by a great effort from their defense led by Eric Weddle, the Ravens dispatched their division rival Cleveland Browns.

5. Oakland Raiders (7-2) While on their bye week, the Raiders were passed by the Chiefs in the race for the division and for a bye in the first round of the playoffs.

6. Denver Broncos (7-3) The Broncos should have lost to the New Orleans Saints, but thanks to an impressive blocked kick and some questionable refereeing they were able to pull off the victory and not lose further ground to the Chiefs and Raiders.

In the hunt: Miami Dolphins (5-4), Tennessee Titans (5-5), Pittsburgh Steelers (4-5), Indianapolis Colts (4-5), Buffalo Bills (4-5), Cincinnati Bengals (3-4-1), and San Diego Chargers (4-6)

Getting to .500 before the bye week would have been very beneficial to the Chargers’ playoff odds. Instead, they lost to a mediocre Dolphins team and watched what was left of their playoff hopes drift away. If you look at it from the right angle and squint, you can almost imagine you can still see a chance, but the Chargers cannot afford another loss this season and the odds of them winning out are not particularly good.