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The A.F.C. Doesn’t Have 6 Playoff-Worthy Teams
“They’ll give you one thing one week, like this is a great product
and they’ve got weapons, and another week they just look like a shell of themselves.”
What bodes well for Tennessee, at least on offense, is the improved health of two crucial players: Marcus Mariota, who has seemed to regain his mobility after a hamstring injury,
and the rookie receiver Corey Davis, who was targeted 10 times Sunday in his second game back after missing five with a strained hamstring.
With a few exceptions — Miami (-17) and Houston (-49) last season, Indianapolis (-30) in 2012 — teams with negative point differentials do not make the playoffs
because teams with negative point differentials do not usually win a lot.
That gap feels as pronounced as ever, with the Patriots (7-2), flawed yet barreling toward an eighth consecutive first-round bye, facing a threat from perhaps only two teams: Kansas City (6-3), which has lost three of its last four,
and Pittsburgh (7-2), which needed a field goal as time expired to beat woeful Indianapolis on Sunday.
On a weekend in which another division leader, Tennessee, also needed a late comeback to defeat an allegedly inferior opponent in Cincinnati, and Jacksonville, currently in the first wild-card slot, was gifted a victory by the Los Angeles Chargers, the worst performance by a team
that entered Week 10 holding a playoff spot was submitted by the group with the longest drought in the league.
But, he said, the Jaguars’ formula for success this season — run a lot, throw a little, lean on a ferocious defense — resembles
that of the Denver Broncos during their Super Bowl season two years ago.
BUFFALO BILLS (5-4): Buffalo’s promising start has been erased by two debacles — Jets/Saints 81, Bills 31 —
and unless they fix their rampant defensive issues, they will spend an 18th straight playoffs on the outside.