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The Pittsburgh Steelers might be below .500 on the season, but they looked the better team in their 30-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday night. And they weren't the only losing squad to come up big on Sunday. Both the Minnesota Vikings and St. Louis Rams handed stunning losses to division leaders. Still, every sub-.500 team is eliminated -- or close to it -- from playoff contention this year, meaning it's not too early to look toward 2014. Which teams are best set up for a bounce-back next season? Click on the images below to set your rankings!

2014 bounce-back teams

Bills

Bills

2013 record: 5-9

Browns

Browns

2013 record: 4-10

Buccaneers

Buccaneers

2013 record: 4-10

Falcons

Falcons

2013 record: 4-10

Giants

Giants

2013 record: 5-9

Jaguars

Jaguars

2013 record: 4-10

Jets

Jets

2013 record: 6-8

Raiders

Raiders

2013 record: 4-10

Rams

Rams

2013 record: 6-8

Redskins

Redskins

2013 record: 3-11

Steelers

Steelers

2013 record: 6-8

Texans

Texans

2013 record: 2-12

Titans

Titans

2013 record: 5-9

Vikings

Vikings

2013 record: 4-9-1

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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

Bills

Browns

Chargers

Dolphins

Jets

Raiders

Ravens

Steelers

Titans

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

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

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

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    Discuss (Total votes: 11,056)

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

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    Discuss (Total votes: 32,204)

  • Which team had the biggest win Sunday?

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    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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    Discuss (Total votes: 41,479)

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When you've got a good quarterback, you've got a chance to win in the NFL. When you don't, you change starters. Maybe you sign a free agent off the street as insurance. And maybe you take inspiration from Batman and illuminate the night sky with the Brett signal -- as in Brett Favre -- like the Rams reportedly did.

Now, don't expect live reports from Hattiesburg, Miss., as Favre says he's retired. For good. Really. But it makes us wonder how confident the Rams are in backup Kellen Clemens replacing the injured Sam Bradford. The Rams aren't alone in this boat -- not when the Browns are about to trot out their third starting QB of the season and the Vikings are choosing between Josh Freeman and Christian Ponder.


Meet Me In St. Louis?

Brett Favre gained a reputation for wavering on retirement, but he was firm Thursday that his career is over.

SportsNation

What do you make of the Rams calling Brett Favre to see if he was interested in being their starting quarterback?

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Discuss (Total votes: 40,305)


Is that Brett Favre's music?

The Rams reportedly reached out to Favre despite the fact it's been nearly three years since he has played in an NFL game.

SportsNation

Could Brett Favre (44 years old) still start in the NFL?

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    42%
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Discuss (Total votes: 20,458)


Valhalla I am coming

Matt Cassel, center, quarterbacked the Vikings' only win of the season. But Christian Ponder, right, is set to start if Josh Freeman can't.

SportsNation

Who should start at QB for the Vikings when all are healthy?

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Discuss (Total votes: 9,060)


Opportunity knocks

Jason Campbell was passed over the first time the Browns changed quarterbacks. He'll get his chance Sunday against the Chiefs.

SportsNation

Who should start for the Browns at quarterback when both are healthy?

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Discuss (Total votes: 8,818)


Hard times

Campbell is replacing Brandon Weeden, who has struggled mightily this season in Cleveland.

SportsNation

How bad is the overall quality of quarterbacks in the NFL right now?

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Discuss (Total votes: 54,912)

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What do to at QB for the Browns?

The Browns got some bad news after their 37-24 win over the Buffalo Bills -- quarterback Brian Hoyer, who has looked solid so far this season, will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL. The news is disheartening for the Browns, who seemed to be playing with an energy they've lacked for quite some time, but the team did end up winning the game with Brandon Weeden playing the majority of snaps at quarterback. That being said, there's at least one other option out there for them right now, in the person of recently released Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman.

  • What would be a better choice for the Browns at quarterback?

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      53%
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    Discuss (Total votes: 9,993)

  • Are the Browns legitimate contenders in the AFC?

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    Discuss (Total votes: 9,944)

  • How many games will the Browns win this season?

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    Discuss (Total votes: 9,243)

  • Which team will win the AFC North?

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    Discuss (Total votes: 9,157)

  • Which is the bigger surprise?

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    Discuss (Total votes: 224,976)

  • What is Brian Hoyer's NFL future if he makes a full recovery from his ACL injury?

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    Discuss (Total votes: 9,988)

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