There are nine teams in the AFC with winning records. Eight of those clubs will be going head-to-head in Week 14 and lots will be learned.
It’s been an unpredictable year in the NFL for all the wrong reasons. But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been an entertaining campaign. Due to COVID-19, some teams have had their original schedule shuffled. We have seen more than our share of Monday night doubleheaders, a couple of Tuesday night games, and even a Wednesday afternoon affair. But now there are only four weeks to go and only two clubs – the Kansas City Chiefs and the New Orleans Saints – have clinched playoff spots. But things could get very interesting in the AFC thanks to a little luck via the schedule makers.
There’s a total of nine teams in the AFC with a winning record. And only the 8-4 Tennessee Titans won’t be involved in quite the round-robin. What makes things even more entertaining for NFL fans is that each of these four contests will be played at different times. So sit back and enjoy what should be a fascinating quartet of meaningful contests. And two of these clubs could join the Chiefs in the playoffs if things go well over these next two days.
Kansas City Chiefs (11-1) at Miami Dolphins (8-4), 1:00 pm ET: The reigning Super Bowl champions own the longest winning streak in the AFC (7). But the Chiefs’ last four wins have been by a combined 15 points and their defense has been somewhat erratic. Only the Steelers (211) have given up fewer points than the Dolphins (212), who boast an improved pass rush. Andy Reid’s team has shown a lot of versatility this season and quarterback Patrick Mahomes has been nearly flawless. Kansas City clinches the AFC West with a win.
Indianapolis Colts (8-4) at Las Vegas Raiders (7-5), 4:05 pm ET: Frank Reich’s club is tied with the Titans atop the AFC South and the Colts boast one of the better defenses in the league. But that unit has been had on a few occasions this year, most notably in a recent home loss to Tennessee. But the Raiders’ defense has had its issues throughout the year and ranks 20th in the league against the run. Philip Rivers knows the Silver and Black quite well. It’s worth noting that Jon Gruden’s team has allowed a disappointing 106 points in their last three games.
Pittsburgh Steelers (11-1) at Buffalo Bills (9-3), 8:20 pm ET: Mike Tomlin’s club wraps up a playoff berth with a victory on Sunday night. But the Steelers will have to play better offensively than they have in recent weeks and the return of running back James Conner could help an imbalanced offense. The surging Bills can also reached the postseason with a win and some help but this is a club that is seeking its first division title since 1995. Quarterback John Allen took a major leap this season but Buffalo’s once-formidable defense hasn’t looked the part this season.
Baltimore Ravens (7-5) at Cleveland Browns (9-3), 8:15 pm ET: What a difference a few months make. Back on the opening Sunday, the Ravens hosted the Browns and sent them packing via a 38-6 loss. Now fast forward to this Monday night and Baker Mayfield and company are two full games ahead of John Harbaugh’s club and still in a position to win the AFC North. Cleveland’s two-headed ground attack features running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Baltimore comes off a win over the Cowboys but have dropped four of its last six games after a 5-1 start.
What a Week 14 this should be, especially when it comes to the AFC. And yes, this is the conference that has produced five of the past six Super Bowl champions.