With over half of the NFL schedule in the books, the 2013 AFC playoff picture is beginning to take solid form. Parts of that picture are what we expected to see -- the Broncos are a one-loss team after eight games; the Patriots sit atop the AFC East -- while others are a bit more surprising -- the Chiefs remain the NFL's lone unbeaten; the Texans are on life support at 2-6.
The most intriguing race is the one in the AFC West, where the 9-0 Chiefs are battling the 7-1 Broncos for the division crown. With two games remaining between each other, this one could come down to the wire.
In the East, a lack of receivers hasn't kept the Patriots from jumping out to 7-2, where they sit with a two-game lead over the surprisingly competent Jets.
One of the two Wild Card slots will inevitably go to whoever loses the race in the West. The other is still very much up for grabs. The schizophrenic Jets currently hold sole possession of that spot, but keep an eye out for the Titans, Dolphins and Chargers, who all sit just a game back at 4-4.
If the playoffs started today...
1. Kansas City (9-0)
2. New England (7-2)
3. Indianapolis (6-2)
4. Cincinnati (6-3)
5. Denver (7-1)
6. New York Jets (5-4)