AFC Playoff Picture: Texans turn up heat; Broncos making push Published: Dec 04, 2018 at 05:36 AM Herbie Teope For much of the 2018 regular season, the AFC Blank Jersey featured a two-team race between the and for the No. 1 seed. But after a nine-game winning streak, the entered the fray to apply pre sure for the right to po se s the highly coveted home-field advantage throughout the postseason. And the could become the fourth team to join in if they beat the . Needle s to say, there remains plenty of unfinished busine s entering the final four weeks of the regular season, which is sure to produce plenty of drama and fireworks as teams look to separate themselves from the pack. Here's a snapshot of the AFC entering Week 14. No. 1 seed: | Remaining schedule: vs. BAL, vs. LAC, at SEA, vs. OAKNo. 2: | at MIA, at PIT, vs. BUF, vs. NYJNo. 3: | vs. IND, at NYJ, at PHI, vs. JAXNo. 4: | at OAK, vs. NE, at NO, vs. CINWild Card 1: | vs. CIN, at KC, vs. BAL, at DENWild Card 2: | at KC, vs. TB, at LAC, vs. CLE The ' final four games come with obstacles, including three opponents who are also very much in contention for the postseason. What helps Kansas City is that three games are at Arrowhead Stadium, which is historically one of the toughest venues in the league J. T. Realmuto Jersey for opposing teams to play. Since Andy Reid arrived in 2013, the are 33-11 at Arrowhead Stadium (technically 34-11 at home, but one of the home games, in 2015, was in London). Additionally, the final month of the calendar year has been kind to Reid's teams at Arrowhead, where the have won nine of their last 10 December games. Kansas City can use any advantage it can muster, with the and scorching-hot breathing down their necks, and with creating a question mark at the running back position. The also need to take care of busine s within the AFC West, with the currently just one game behind. Meanwhile, a fascinating race to the finish line has emerged in the AFC North, where the currently hold a half-game lead over the . The ' matchups against the and aren't cakewalks, and the ' path isn't easy, either, with games against the and down the stretch. Baltimore has an interesting decision to make: stick with rookie quarterback , who has won three straight games, or return to veteran when he recovers from that has kept him out since Week 9? IN THE HUNT No. 7: | vs. NE, Neil Walker Jersey at MIN, vs. JAX, at BUFNo. 8: | at HOU, vs. DAL, vs. NYG, at TENNo. 9: | at SF, vs. CLE, at OAK, vs. LACNo. 10: | vs. JAX, at NYG, vs. WAS, vs. IND Those in the logjam of .500 teams are ready to pounce if a lot of things go in their favor, such as winning out and receiving outside help to catch the teams they're chasing. Of the quartet, the are arguably the most dangerous, getting hot at the right time on the heels of a three-game winning streak. The lo s of cornerback hurts the defense down the stretch, of course. But Denver is in prime position to make a move; before a season-finale showdown with the , the will face three opponents with a combined record of 8-27-1. Meanwhile, the ' fate could be determined in the next few games, which is highlighted by a brutal stretch against the and , winners of four straight. FADING PULSE No. 11: | at LAC, vs. OAK, at CLE, at PIT Injuries, bad defense and bad offense -- heck, basically bad -- have contributed to the ' demise over the last month and a half. Since starting the season 4-1, the team has gone 1-6, which includes a current four-game slide. Making matters worse, the are without starting quarterback , who with a thumb injury. Of course, the mantra still applies in a league where anything can and will happen. But the , who have been outscored 134-65 over the past four games, Andre Dawson Jersey have too much to overcome with a closing stretch that includes heavyweight opponents in the and . BETTER LUCK NEXT YEAR No. 12: | vs. CAR, at DEN, vs. CIN, at BALNo. 13: | vs. NYJ, vs. DET, at NE, vs. MIANo. 14: | at TEN, vs. WAS, at MIA, at HOUNo. 15: | at BUF, vs. HOU, vs. GB, at NENo. 16: | vs. PIT, at CIN, vs. DEN, at KC This last group boasts teams with promise for the future -- plus one team wondering what happened to the 2018 campaign. The are in a good place despite their record, as rookie quarterback has shown he is the real deal. Cleveland also has a strong foundation of talented youth and veterans on both sides of the football to give Mayfield a solid supporting cast, and the head coach vacancy will command interest. The and have their franchise quarterbacks in the form of and , but they need to surround them with more talent during the offseason. Oakland is clearly in rebuilding mode under head coach Jon Gruden. The had better immerse themselves in Sergio Romo Jersey the draft evaluation proce s now to ensure they make good use of three first-round picks to make up for the lo ses of traded-away veterans and . As for the , the 2018 season will be looked back on with regret. This team was a preseason darling to return to the playoffs, but the wheels came off after a 2-0 start. A recent seven-game losing streak cost quarterback and placed head coach Doug Marrone on the hot seat. 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