After nine weeks, a clear line has been drawn in the AFC playoff race, as all six teams currently in position for a playoff spot in the conference have a 5-3 record or better.
Among those teams are the surprising Indianapolis Colts, fresh from a big victory over the Miami Dolphins, which fell out of the AFC playoff picture this week. If the playoffs were to end today, the Colts would land in the No. 5 spot, faced up against the AFC West-leading — and similarly 5-3 — Denver Broncos.
Though seeds three through six are all 5-3, the two teams currently in position for first-round byes, the 7-1 Houston Texans and 6-2 Baltimore Ravens, have separated themselves somewhat from the pack at the end of nine weeks of play.