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AFC playoff picture: Chiefs at No. 1; Patriots slip out of berth entering Week 13

Can anyone slow Andy Reid and Pat Mahomes?Michael Reaves/Getty

There was not a lot of movement in the playoff chase after Week 12. The Chiefs, the Dolphins, and the Titans all maintained a lock on the top three spots in the AFC.

The Bengals and the New York Jets each moved up one spot following the weekend’s action, while the Patriots are now on the outside looking in.

Here’s a look at the AFC playoff picture entering Week 13:

1. Chiefs (9-2)

Remaining schedule: at Bengals (7-4), at Broncos (3-8), at Texans (1-9-1), vs. Seahawks (6-5), vs. Broncos (3-8), at Raiders (4-7).

Opponents’ record: 24-41-1 (.363)

The skinny: They’re the best team in football right now. Provided all the important faces (Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, etc.) remain healthy, Kansas City can coast to the No. 1 seed in the AFC, especially considering the easy slate the rest of the way.


2. Dolphins (8-3)

Remaining schedule: at 49ers (7-4), at Chargers (6-5), at Bills (8-3), vs. Packers (4-8), at Patriots (6-5), vs. Jets (7-4).

Opponents’ record: 38-29 (.567)

The skinny: With its fifth straight win, Miami is off to its best 11-game start since an equal 8-3 mark to begin the 2001 season. But there aren’t a lot of layups the rest of the way for Tua Tagovailoa and Mike McDaniel.

3. Titans (7-4)

Remaining schedule: at Eagles (10-1), vs. Jaguars (4-7), at Chargers (6-5), vs. Texans (1-9-1), vs. Cowboys (8-3), at Jaguars (4-7).

Opponents’ record: 33-32 (.508)

The skinny: That one game left against the Texans is doing a lot of work when it comes to figuring out how tough Tennessee’s schedule is the rest of the way. The path to the AFC South title is still there for the taking, but it might be a little tougher than initially anticipated.

Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans are still in control of the AFC South.Wade Payne/Associated Press

4. Ravens (7-4)

Remaining schedule: vs. Broncos (3-8), at Steelers (4-7), at Browns (4-7), vs. Falcons (5-7), vs. Steelers (4-7), at Bengals (7-4).


Opponents’ record: 27-40 (.403)

The skinny: Given its strengths and remaining schedule, Baltimore should still the favorite to win the AFC North, even with a rapidly charging Cincinnati team. But with that loss to the Jaguars (and the fallout) ... are the Ravens heading for a fall?

5. Bills (8-3)

Remaining schedule: at Patriots (6-5), vs. Jets (7-4), vs. Dolphins (8-3), at Bears (3-9), at Bengals (7-4), vs. Patriots (6-5).

Opponents’ record: 37-30 (.552)

The skinny: With their win over the Lions on Thanksgiving, the Bills became the first team with two wins in two games at the same venue that is not their home field within a span of five days or fewer.

Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs feasted on the Detroit defense in Week 12.Rey Del Rio/Getty

6. Bengals (7-4)

Remaining schedule: vs. Chiefs (9-2), vs. Browns (4-7), at Buccaneers (5-6), at Patriots (6-5), vs. Bills (8-3), vs. Ravens (7-4)

Opponents’ record: 39-27 (.591)

The skinny: Cincinnati would love to have that 0-2 start back. If the Bengals could have gotten one of them, they’d have a better chance of catching the Ravens. As it stands now, Cincinnati will keep the pressure on, but Baltimore’s schedule is far easier than the one the Bengals are facing.

7. Jets (7-4)

Remaining schedule: at Vikings (9-2), at Bills (8-3), vs. Lions (4-7), vs. Jaguars (4-7), at Seahawks (6-5), at Dolphins (8-3)

Opponents’ record: 39-27 (.591)

The skinny: Did New York get a short-term jolt with the decision to go from Zach Wilson to Mike White? Or is it the sort of thing that can give them the sort of long-term spark that will result in a playoff spot? Either way, the Jets looked impressive on Sunday, steamrolling the Bears with White under center.


Jets quarterback Mike White was feeling the love after the win over the Bears in Week 12.John Minchillo/Associated Press

On the bubble (teams .500 or better)

8. Patriots (6-5)

Remaining schedule: vs. Bills (8-3), at Cardinals (4-8), at Raiders (4-7), vs. Bengals (7-4), vs. Dolphins (8-3), at Bills (8-3).

Opponents’ record: 39-28 (.582)

The skinny: Through 11 games, the Patriots have used 11 different starting lineups on offense and 11 different starting lineups on defense — tied for second-most in the league in both categories.

9. Chargers (6-5)

Remaining schedule: at Raiders (4-7), vs. Dolphins (8-3), vs. Titans (7-4), at Colts (4-7-1), vs. Rams (3-8), at Broncos (3-8).

Opponents’ record: 29-37-1 (.433)

The skinny: The Chargers are 4-1 this season in games they have trailed after the first quarter. They are 1-3 in games they have led after the first quarter.

Christopher Price can be reached at christopher.price@globe.com. Follow him @cpriceglobe.