After the Philidelphia Eagles upset the New England Patriots last Sunday and the Denver Broncos defeated the San Diego Chargers, they moved into the number two seed in the AFC. With a win on Sunday and a loss by the Cincinnati Bengals, the Broncos can be in first place in the AFC on Sunday Night.
The Bengals host their division rival Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday in what figures to be another hard fought AFC North battle between the two teams.
The Broncos currently hold the second seed in the AFC and have the same record as the Cincinnati Bengals and the New England Patriots. The three teams will be battling for home field advantage and a first-round bye during the final weeks of the 2015 NFL Season.
So let's take a look at the remaining schedule of all three teams.
Week 14: Oakland Raiders (5-7)
Week 15: at Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5)
Week:16: Cincinnati Bengals (10-2)
Week 17: San Diego Chargers (3-9)
The Broncos end the season with three home games which should play into their favor. The Broncos have one of the better home records in the NFL over the past decade.
What does worry me is back to back games against two AFC North teams. Both teams will be tough matchups for the banged up Broncos, and pose the toughest challenges for the Broncos before the postseason begins. Also, the matchup against the Bengals could be for the number one overall seed in the AFC. So that will be a matchup to keep an eye on
Week 14: Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5)
Week 15: at Cleveland Browns (2-10)
Week:16: at Denver Broncos (10-2)
Week 17: Baltimore Ravens (4-8)
The Bengals finish out the season with three games against their division rivals. Fortunately for them, two of those three teams are the two-win Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens who are down to their third-string quarterback.
The games against the Steelers and Broncos will be the big games for the Bengals. If they win, they're set for the number one seed. If they lose, they're probably playing wildcard weekend.
New England Patriots:
Week 14: at Houston Texans (6-6)
Week 15: Tennessee Titans (3-9)
Week:16: New York Jets (7-5)
Week 17: at Miami Dolphins (5-7)
The Patriots have the easiest schedule of the three teams. While the Texans and Jets figure to be tough matchups for the Patriots, they should come away with the victory against those two. It would be shocking to see the Titans and Dolphins to pull an upset against the mighty Patriots, but stranger things have happened.
What the Patriots have going for them is that they're getting healthy at the right time. Tight End Rob Gronkowski figures to return either this week or next weekend, and wide receiver Danny Amendola returned to practice for the first time since his injury today.
All signs point to the Patriots winning out.
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