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While the Denver Broncos were taking control of the AFC West against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, the other three top AFC contenders took care of business to extend their leads atop their respective divisions. And although none has officially clinched, the Cincinnati Bengals (two games up), New England Patriots (three) and Indianapolis Colts (also three) seem destined to host playoff contests come January.

Elsewhere, the Miami Dolphins moved to .500 by hammering the New York Jets, while the Baltimore Ravens looked on after beating the rival Pittsburgh Steelers on Thanksgiving. Which wild-card contender will taste the postseason? How will the division leaders fare?


Patriots' outlook?

The Patriots moved to 9-3 on Sunday -- but had to eke out a win over Houston.

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How far will the Patriots go this season?

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    5%
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    25%
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    45%
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    8%
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    17%

Discuss (Total votes: 13,828)


Bengals' outlook?

The Bengals topped the host Chargers 17-10, moving them to 8-4 with three home games left.

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How far will the Bengals go this season?

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    41%
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    49%
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    6%
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    1%
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    3%

Discuss (Total votes: 13,118)


Colts' outlook?

Indy hasn't looked great of late but is 8-4 and should cruise to the AFC South title.

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How far will the Colts go this season?

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    49%
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    41%
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    6%
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    1%
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    3%

Discuss (Total votes: 13,053)


Last spot?

The Dolphins and Ravens are one game ahead of a four-team pack at 5-7.

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If the top five playoff spots hold in the AFC, which team will earn the sixth?

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    24%
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    54%
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    22%

Discuss (Total votes: 47,344)

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You know how the NFL goes: One shouldn't assume anything. But -- despite losses by the Indianapolis Colts and Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday -- the top five playoff spots in the AFC have seemed locked up for some time. That last berth, though? The race continues to be heated. Six teams (New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans and San Diego Chargers) currently are tied for that position, with 5-6 records. Three (Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders) trail by just one game. Of those nine teams, which is most likely to make the playoffs? Least likely? Click on the images below to set your rankings!

AFC wild-card contenders

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Chargers

Dolphins

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Raiders

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Titans

Your Rankings

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Who makes playoffs from AFC?

With each passing week, things get muddier in the AFC playoff picture. Well, not among the top five teams -- the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals all have one foot through the postseason door. But that last spot is up for grabs, with eight teams within one game of qualifying.

The New York Jets, they of a 37-14 loss at Buffalo on Sunday, are tied for the spot. The Miami Dolphins, who gave the Tampa Bay Buccaneers their first win all season, also own a 5-5 record. A trio of AFC North teams -- the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens -- all are 4-6, as are the Tennessee Titans, San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders. How will the whole thing play out?

  • Will the AFC's current top five teams (Kansas City, Denver, New England, Indianapolis and Cincinnati) all make the playoffs?

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      87%
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      13%

    Discuss (Total votes: 12,193)

  • If the top five playoff spots (Chiefs, Bengals, Patriots, Colts, Broncos) hold in the AFC, which team will earn the sixth?

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      18%
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      20%
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      21%
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      20%
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      21%

    Discuss (Total votes: 43,146)

  • Which 4-6 AFC North team has the best chance of making the playoffs?

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      18%
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      46%
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      36%

    Discuss (Total votes: 35,212)

  • Which of these surprising playoff contenders has the best shot of reaching the postseason?

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      21%
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      48%
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      18%
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      13%

    Discuss (Total votes: 11,469)

  • Are the Chargers (4-6, 4 games against Kansas City, Denver and Cincinnati remaining) finished?

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      83%
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      17%

    Discuss (Total votes: 11,056)

  • How has the Jonathan Martin/Richie Incognito situation affected the Dolphins?

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      4%
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      75%
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      21%

    Discuss (Total votes: 32,204)

  • Which team had the biggest win Sunday?

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      22%
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      12%
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      66%

    Discuss (Total votes: 10,644)

  • The Jets pulled Geno Smith during Sunday's 37-14 loss at Buffalo. Should they bench him next week at Baltimore?

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      37%
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      63%

    Discuss (Total votes: 41,479)

Comment »

Bucs win; are Fins finished?

In a "Monday Night Football" meeting between two of the the league's most turmoil-riddled teams, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finally earned their first win, while the woebegone Miami Dolphins dropped their fourth in five to fall to 4-5. Tampa seems to be well outside the playoff race, but it could salvage some dignity in the last seven weeks. Miami, meanwhile, remains in wild-card contention. But with fallout still settling from the Richie Incognito situation, the postseason seems pretty far away.

  • What chance do the Dolphins (4-5) have of making the playoffs?

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      2%
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      50%
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      48%

    Discuss (Total votes: 37,979)

  • Which hurt the Dolphins more Monday night?

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      34%
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      66%

    Discuss (Total votes: 6,750)

  • How many games will the Dolphins (4-5) win this season?

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      36%
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      54%
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      10%

    Discuss (Total votes: 6,450)

  • Will Joe Philbin coach the Dolphins in 2014?

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      26%
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      74%

    Discuss (Total votes: 123,960)

  • How many games will the Buccaneers (1-8) win this season?

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      10%
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      53%
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      37%

    Discuss (Total votes: 6,263)

  • Which team will draft No. 1 overall in 2014?

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      22%
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      72%
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      6%

    Discuss (Total votes: 37,706)

  • Is Mike Glennon the Bucs' quarterback of the future?

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      21%
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      38%
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      41%

    Discuss (Total votes: 6,007)

  • Will Greg Schiano coach the Buccaneers in 2014?

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      17%
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      83%

    Discuss (Total votes: 5,964)

Comment »

Lines drawn in Incognito scandal

The situation that led Jonathan Martin to leave the Dolphins has dominated headlines for the past week. Some players are coming to the defense of Richie Incognito, who is suspended indefinitely for allegedly tormenting Martin, and Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland suggested that Martin physically confront Incognito as a method of dealing with the situation. Regardless of the particulars, this scandal has revealed a side of NFL locker rooms that many might prefer to keep hidden.

Whose side are you on in the Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito incident?

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    41%
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    19%
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    27%
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    13%

Discuss (Total votes: 89,524)

  • Would you want Richie Incognito, who is a free agent after this season, on your team?

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      25%
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      66%
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      9%

    Discuss (Total votes: 36,610)

  • Will Jonathan Martin and/or Richie Incognito ever play in the NFL again?

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      18%
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      25%
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      15%
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      42%

    Discuss (Total votes: 61,586)

  • What is your interest level in what goes on inside a NFL locker room?

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      38%
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      62%

    Discuss (Total votes: 32,467)

  • Who should be more responsible for policing an NFL locker room?

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      48%
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      52%

    Discuss (Total votes: 123,045)

  • Mark Schlereth says left tackle, the position played by Jonathan Martin, is the second toughest position behind quarterback. Do you agree?

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      62%
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      38%

    Discuss (Total votes: 29,445)

  • Do you believe NFL players from schools like Stanford or Ivy League schools are at more risk of hazing/bullying from veteran players?

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      52%
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      48%

    Discuss (Total votes: 29,795)

  • Were you bullied in school?

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      40%
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      60%

    Discuss (Total votes: 29,610)

  • What do you make of Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland saying Jonathan Martin should have physically confronted Richie Incognito?

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      49%
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      51%

    Discuss (Total votes: 168,620)

Comment »