This is what we know about the AFC playoff picture as we enter the season's final seven weeks:
The playoff picture
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The Kansas City Chiefs (9-0), Denver Broncos (8-1), and New England Patriots (7-2) are virtual locks for The Dance. Football Outsiders puts New England's chance of qualifying for the postseason at 96.5 percent. The Chiefs and Broncos are each listed at 99.9 percent. Barring a rogue meteor or elaborate Tom Brady bullying probe, these teams are safe.
The Indianapolis Colts (6-3) and Cincinnati Bengals (6-4) also are in good position. Indy has a 91.3 percent chance of qualifying, while Cincinnati currently sits at 90.4 percent. Both teams have lost key personnel and are coming off ugly losses. Still, they're better than their division rivals. Book 'em.
Four division winners will take the first four seeds. The runner-up of the AFC West (Denver or Kansas City) likely will slide into the No. 5 seed. Then things get murky. Like, Meadowlands swamp murky.
Truthfully, the Pittsburgh Steelers don't really deserve consideration here. They're 3-6 and have been allergic to extended success. Still, Ben Roethlisberger is involved and the schedule is filled with winnable division games down the stretch. I'd feel weird completely discounting them, so here they are. Congrats guys.
The Baltimore Ravens (4-5) got one they absolutely had to have against the Bengals on Sunday, but they're here more on reputation than actual achievement in 2013. We trust Joe Flacco will improve on his middling play, but will Ray Rice still be pulling his "snowsuit" act in December? If so, the Ravens are cooked.
Rex Ryan delivered a motivational masterstroke when he told his players before the start of the season that ESPN had ranked the Jets dead last in its preseason power rankings. Ryan's team has made good use of that chip on its shoulder and enter Week 11 at 5-4 -- one full game ahead of all other sixth-seed contenders.
This is far from a perfect team. The Jets have yet to win consecutive games, they're not far removed from a brutal beatdown in Cincinnati and the Genocoaster will ride on through the holiday season. But there are also impressive wins over the Patriots and Saints, and a new identity built around a dynamic and young defensive line.