Despite losing last week, the Chiefs finished Week 8 on top of the AFC West and the AFC Playoff Picture, due to tiebreakers. They obviously retained the #1 seed after defeating Miami.
Heading into Week 9, the AFC was a cluster at the top with four teams at 6-2. The Chiefs and Ravens climbed to 7-2, while the Dolphins lost and the Jaguars stood pat during the bye week.
AFC playoff picture, Week 10
1. Kansas City Chiefs (7-2)
2. Baltimore Ravens (7-2)
3. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-2)
4. Miami Dolphins (6-3)
5. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3)
6. Cleveland Browns (5-3)
7. Cincinnati Bengals (5-3)
In the hunt: Buffalo Bills (5-4), Houston Texans (4-4), Los Angeles Chargers (4-4), New York Jets (4-4), Indianapolis Colts (4-5), Las Vegas Raiders (4-5), Tennessee Titans (3-5), and Denver Broncos (3-5).
The Steelers beat the Titans on Thursday Night Football. The Chiefs topped the Dolphins in Frankfurt, spoiling Tyreek Hill's revenge game. The Patriots lost to the Commanders in a gut punch of a defeat. The Browns shut out Clayton Tune and the Cardinals. The Ravens crushed the Seahawks at home. C.J. Stroud was brilliant in the Texans' win over the Bucs.
The Colts beat the Panthers behind two Kenny Moore defensive touchdowns. The Raiders crushed the Giants in the first game after firing Josh McDaniels. The Bengals outlasted the Bills on Sunday Night Football. The Chargers beat the Jets on Monday Night Football after a dismal performance by Zach Wilson.
As of today, the Ravens definitely have proven to be the best team in the AFC so far. Whether that remains to be true down the road is the question. They have the best resumes and have fewer questions than the other top contenders. The Chiefs are the top seed and should figure it out after their bye week, but the Ravens have played better so far this season, despite identical records.
The Jaguars, Dolphins, and Bills (who aren't currently in a playoff spot) are all very good teams, but whether they're true Super Bowl contenders is the main question. They all should make the playoffs but none are a lock to win multiple playoff games this January.
Although they're technically in fourth place in their division, the Cincinnati Bengals are one of the most terrifying teams in the NFL. Joe Burrow is back and their defense is excellent. They are as dangerous as any team to Kansas City in the AFC this postseason.
According to Team Rankings, the Chiefs remain the heavy favorites to land the #1 seed at 42.9%. After them are the Ravens at 29.2%, then the Jaguars at 10.3%, and the Dolphins at 6.3%. The Ravens are the slight favorites in the AFC to win Super Bowl LVIII at 15.5%. The Chiefs are right behind them at 14.8%. They're followed by the Dolphins (5.3%), Bills (5.3%), and Jaguars (4.5%).
There's no shortage of competitive teams in the AFC this season. The Ravens and Chiefs have clearly separated themselves from the pack, although the Jaguars, Dolphins, and Bengals aren't far behind. The Bills were thought to be contenders in the preseason, but appear to be falling apart.
Kansas City needs to answer multiple questions if they want to win back-to-back Super Bowls, with the primary two being play-calling and their wide receiver room. If they can figure out both, given how good their defense is, they'll be an extraordinarily tough out when the playoffs roll around.