AFC playoff picture: Colts can clinch berth with Week 17 win

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  • Indianapolis Colts
    Indianapolis Colts
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Carson Wentz
    Carson Wentz
    American football quarterback

The Indianapolis Colts (9-6) control their own destiny in the truest sense of the phrase as they prepare for Week 17’s arrival.

All they have to do is win against the Las Vegas Raiders and they’re into the AFC playoffs. Of course, that will be easier said than done. Quarterback Carson Wentz, along with several starters, remain on the COVID-19 list entering Wednesday morning.

Thanks to the new COVID-19 protocols the league has put into place, a number of those players can be activated soon. Wentz, though, will have to wait until Sunday to know if he can play against the Raiders, which puts much of this week into question.

Regardless, here’s an updated look at the AFC playoff picture entering Week 17:

The Big Picture

Here’s a rundown of how the top seeds performed in Week 16:

  • The Chiefs handled the Steelers, 36-10, to clinch the AFC West and a playoff berth. They are the first AFC team to do so.

  • The Titans surged for a Thursday night comeback over the 49ers to move up to the No. 2 seed.

  • The Bengals demolished the Ravens thanks to a career day from Joe Burrow, moving up to the No. 3 seed.

  • The Bills beat the Patriots in a rematch to reclaim the top of the AFC East. The Patriots are now the No. 6 seed behind the Colts.

  • The Colts went on the road to win against the Cardinals, which kept them at the top of the wild-card race.

  • The Dolphins enter the wild-card race as its final team in a four-way tie at 8-7.

This Week's Talking Point

Norm Hall/Getty Images

It’s going to mostly be about COVID-19 and which players will be available. Trust me, we’d rather cover what goes on between the hashes. But these implications are far too heavy when it comes to how this game can be swayed. If the Colts wind up getting everyone back, including Carson Wentz, they should have a good chance to clinch a playoff berth.

AFC playoff picture

AP Photo/Darryl Webb

1. Kansas City Chiefs (11-4)
2. Tennessee (10-5)
3. Cincinnati Bengals (9-6)
4. Buffalo Bills (9-6)
5. Indianapolis Colts (9-6)*
6. New England Patriots (9-6)*
7. Miami Dolphins (8-7)*
In the hunt
8. Baltimore Ravens (8-7)
9. Los Angeles Chargers (8-7)
10. Las Vegas Raiders (8-7)
11. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7-1)
12. Cleveland Browns (7-8)
13. Denver Broncos (7-8)

Remaining Schedule

AP Photo/David Becker

Week

Opponent

Date

Time (ET)

Network

Result

1

Seahawks

Sept. 12

1:00 p.m.

FOX

L, 28-16

2

Rams

Sept. 19

1:00 p.m.

FOX

L, 27-24

3

@ Titans

Sept. 26

1:00 p.m.

CBS

L, 25-16

4

@ Dolphins

Oct. 3

1:00 p.m.

CBS

W, 27-17

5

@ Ravens

Oct. 11

8:15 p.m.

ESPN

L, 31-25 (OT)

6

Texans

Oct. 17

1:00 p.m.

CBS

W, 31-3

7

@ 49ers

Oct. 24

8:20 p.m.

NBC

W, 30-18

8

Titans

Oct. 31

1:00 p.m.

CBS

L, 34-31

9

Jets

Nov. 4 (TNF)

8:20 p.m.

NFLN

W, 45-30

10

Jaguars

Nov. 14

1:00 p.m.

CBS

W, 23-17

11

@ Bills

Nov. 21

1:00 p.m.

CBS

W, 41-15

12

Buccaneers

Nov. 28

1:00 p.m.

FOX

L, 38-31

13

@ Texans

Dec. 5

1:00 p.m.

CBS

W, 31-0

14

BYE

BYE

BYE

15

Patriots

Dec. 18

8:15 p.m.

NFLN

W, 27-17

16

@ Cardinals

Dec. 25

8:15 p.m.

NFLN

W, 22-16

17

Raiders

Jan. 2

1:00 p.m.

FOX

18

@ Jaguars

Jan. 9

1:00 p.m.

CBS

1

1