The Denver Broncos lost to the New England Patriots on Sunday afternoon, but they retained control of the AFC West division and their playoff destiny thanks to the Detroit Lions, who rallied late to defeat the Oakland Raiders. Four AFC teams -- New England, Pittsburgh, Houston and Baltimore -- have clinched playoff spots at this point, and both New England and Houston have clinched their respective divisions.
Pittsburgh moved a half game ahead of Baltimore following the Ravens' loss in San Diego on Sunday night, but that could be short lived considering the Steelers face San Francisco on Monday night. For now, though, the Steelers are the No. 2 seed in the AFC. The Ravens dropped to the No. 5 seed with the loss and would face Denver in the opening round if the current playoff order were to hold up.
The current AFC playoff picture (Monday night game pending):
1.) New England Patriots (11-3)
2.) Pittsburgh Steelers (10-3)
3.) Houston Texans (10-4)
4.) Denver Broncos (8-6)
5.) Baltimore Ravens (10-4)
6.) New York Jets (8-6)
Cincinnati also sits at 8-6 but loses the tiebreaker to the Jets, while Tennessee, San Diego and Oakland each are 7-7. And the Kansas City Chiefs (6-8) are still mathematically alive as well. So there is much to be decided in the AFC West over the next two weeks, but the Broncos have the inside track to the division crown.
Here's how the NFC playoff picture is shaping up:
1.) Green Bay Packers (13-1)
2.) New Orleans Saits (11-3)
3.) San Francisco 49ers (10-3)
4.) Dallas Cowboys (8-6)
5.) Atlanta Falcons (9-5)
6.) Detroit Lions (9-5)
For playoff picture updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Denver. For more in-depth coverage of the Broncos, head over to Mile High Report. And for more from around the NFL, visit SB Nation's NFL news hub.