The AFC 6th seed race is a dumpster fire of mediocrity

11/17/13 in NFL   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Blog Photo - The AFC 6th seed race is a dumpster fire of mediocrityThe title of this article pretty much says it all. The AFC has five good to very good teams: Kansas City, Denver, New England, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati. All have at least seven wins and are very good bets to make the playoffs. That's because the rest of the conference is a quagmire. Take the Jets. They got destroyed by the Bills today. Their offense was basically nonexistent and Geno Smith finished with a quarterback rating of 10.1.

They dropped to 5-5...and still hold the 6th playoff seed in the AFC.

If there's such a thing as an under-reported NFL story, it's the "race" for the last playoff spot in the AFC. It looks something like this:

Jets 5-5
Dolphins 5-5
Raiders 4-6
Titans 4-6
Steelers 4-6
Ravens 4-6
Browns 4-6
Chargers 4-6
Bills 4-7

In theory, nine teams for one spot is an incredible race, but the teams involved are so bad that all one can do is stifle a yawn. No one trusts the Jets. The Dolphins are mired in the bullying scandal, today's win notwithstanding. The Raiders are staring Matt McGloin. The Titans lost to Jacksonville. The Steelers are getting more attention from Big Ben trade rumors than anything else. The Ravens post-Super Bowl season has been a disaster. The Browns are one hit from the return of Brandon Weeden. The Chargers snatch defeat from victory like clockwork. The Bills have a rusty rookie quarterback. In a vacuum, would anyone pick any of these teams to make the playoffs? Of course not, but one of them will.

Regardless of who wins this "battle," the 3rd seed in the AFC will be licking their chops. The bye would still be preferred, but being the #3 seed and getting one of these teams is a lot better than being the #4 seed and getting the AFC West loser. Watch the race between the Pats, Colts, and Bengals. One of those teams will be rewarded with the bye, another with an easy first round opponent. The last will be stuck with the Chiefs or Broncos in round one.
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