LOS ANGELES, December 30, 2013 — The 2013 NFL regular season is now in the history books. The AFC playoffs are set.
1) 13-3 Denver Broncos
2) 12-4 New England Patriots
3) 11-5 Cincinnati Bengals
4) 11-5 Indianapolis Colts
5) 11-5 Kansas City Chiefs
6) 9-7 San Diego Chargers
How they got here: While there could have been plenty of movement among the top four seeds, no changes took place. They held serve and all won in Week 17 by double digit margins. Kansas City was locked into the number five seed and the only team in either conference who had the option to rest starters.
The San Diego Chargers had all of the football gods smile upon them. Had either the defending champion Baltimore Ravens or Miami Dolphins won, San Diego would have been out. They both lost. Chiefs Coach Walrus Lite Andy Reid benched his starters, and San Diego barely survived beating the Chiefs’ backups in overtime.
Had San Diego lost, the Pittsburgh Steelers would have been in the playoffs. Instead, the Ravens, Dolphins, Steelers, and previously eliminated New York Jets all finished 8-8 and out of the playoffs.
The wildcard matchups:
Saturday, January 4: Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts, 4:30 p.m. ET
Sunday, January 5: San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals, 1:00 p.m. ET
The New England Patriots and Denver Broncos have first round byes and the week off. Denver has home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
January 11 and 12 are the divisional matchups.
If San Diego wins, they play at Denver. If Cincinnati wins, they play at New England. The winner of the other wildcard game will not know their opponent until this wildcard is settled.
Predictions: The bottom four seeds are tomato cans. There are upsets every year, but this is a year to go with the favorites. New England and Denver are on a collision course to meet in the AFC title game on Sunday, January 19. The football world wants to see Peyton Manning and Tom Brady duel again, and this year it will happen.
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