Playoff tiebreakers change in AFC

The AFC wild-card race has four teams still in the running: the Ravens, Dolphins, Chargers and Steelers. None can earn the spot outright with a victory next Sunday.

Miami (8-7) must beat the Jets (7-8) and have Baltimore (8-7) lose or tie at Cincinnati (10-5); or win and have San Diego (8-7) win against Kansas City (11-4); or tie and have Baltimore lose and San Diego lose or tie; or tie while the Ravens tie and Chargers tie.

Baltimore must win and have San Diego lose or tie; or win and have Miami lose or tie; or tie and have Miami and San Diego lose; or tie and have Miami tie and San Diego lose; or have Miami, San Diego and Pittsburgh (7-8) lose.

The Chargers must win and get losses or ties by Miami and Baltimore, or tie, with losses by Miami and Baltimore.

Pittsburgh must win at home against Cleveland (4-11) and have the other three lose.

The division titles already are decided, with Denver (12-3) taking the AFC West, New England (11-4) the East, Indianapolis (10-5) the South, and Cincinnati (10-5) the North.

In the NFC, no division is clinched. Seattle (12-3) leads the West, Carolina (11-4) the South, Philadelphia (9-6) the East, and Chicago (8-7) the North. The Seahawks and Panthers own playoff berths, and both will take their divisions with wins Sunday: Seattle at home against St. Louis (7-8) and Carolina at Atlanta.

Philadelphia plays at Dallas (8-7) for the East crown on Sunday. Chicago hosts Green Bay (7-7-1) for the North title.

San Francisco and New Orleans are the front-runners for the wild cards.



Can the Chargers sneak into the playoffs? Discuss inside the message boards.



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