Indianapolis Colts v Cincinnati Bengals
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Through 14 weeks of football, selecting the AFC and NFC wild card teams may be a luck of the draw. Thanks to the Cleveland  Browns beating the Jacksonville Jaguars, the New York Jets upsetting the Houston Texans and the Cincinnati Bengals defeating the Indianapolis Colts -- six teams are tied for the No. 6 through No. 11 spots in the AFC.

In the NFC, the Los Angeles Rams are one of four teams on the outside looking in at 6-7. The Minnesota Vikings seized control of the No. 6 seed with a 3-0 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders. 

Overreactions are aplenty with all the tight playoff races this holiday season. Which ones are worth the panic from the Week 14 Sunday afternoon slate of games? 

Chiefs won't go to conference championship game

Overreaction or reality: Overreaction

After watching Patrick Mahomes implode on the sidelines, it's easy to count the Chiefs out. Kansas City has lost three of four (rare for the Chiefs in November) and are one game ahead of Denver in the AFC West. The Chiefs had the Bills on the ropes before a Kadarius Toney penalty wiped out their chance at the comeback win (and took away Toney's touchdown). That's the second loss in four weeks thanks to a bonehead play by a wide receiver.

This wide receiver group isn't good enough for Mahomes, who is clearly frustrated this offense can't score points. The Chiefs have never played a road playoff game under Mahomes and that seems all but assured this year. Kansas City is just one game up on the final playoff spot, yet alone the division. 

The Chiefs may end up with just one home playoff game. Even though Kansas City is struggling, hard to count out any team coached by Andy Reid and quarterbacked by Mahomes. Things are poor in Kansas City, but Reid and Mahomes deserve the benefit of the doubt. 

The NFC South champion should open the playoffs on the road 

Overreaction or reality: Overreaction

There's no secret how bad the NFC South has been over the last two seasons. The division champion was under. 500 and got blown out in the playoffs last year and all four teams in the division are under. 500 this year. Three teams are tied for first in the division at 6-7 and Tampa Bay holds the tiebreaker with a better record against common opponents. 

Every division winner gets a home game in the postseason, but should a division champion with an under-.500 record be rewarded? The winner of this division is likely going to play Philadelphia or Dallas in the wild card round, and that NFC East team would be heavily favored. Should a team that could end up with 13-plus wins actually have to go on the road to play a playoff game against a team that's likely going to be under .500? 

Division champions need to be rewarded for something besides a playoff berth. The double-digit win team should beat whoever is the NFC South champion anyway. Leave the playoff format as is. 

Jake Browning will get the Bengals to the playoffs

Overreaction or reality: Reality

What Browning has been able to accomplish in his two starts with the Bengals has made him a more-than-adequate replacement for Joe Burrow. Not only did Browning save the Bengals' season last Monday against the Jaguars, but he threw for 275 yards and two touchdowns (with an interception) in Sunday's win over the Colts. That's two teams that entered the contest that were in the AFC playoff field when facing the Bengals -- and Cincinnati beat both of them. 

In Browning's three starts he's completed 69 of 87 passes for 856 yards with four touchdowns to two interceptions for a 113.4 quarterback rating. The Bengals are 2-1 in Browning's three starts, more than alive in the AFC playoff race.

The conference record (3-6) certainly hurts, and the Bengals are currently the No. 10 seed in the AFC playoff picture. With the Vikings (home), Steelers (road), Chiefs (road), and Browns (home) remaining, the Bengals have a tough schedule to finish -- but Browning's play has Cincinnati good enough to make the playoffs. 

Lions are a one-and-done playoff team

Overreaction or reality: Reality

Even with their 9-4 start the Lions haven't looked close to a Super Bowl contender over the past few games. Detroit is a playoff team, but this is a franchise that wasn't won a playoff game since 1991 -- and has just one playoff win since 1957. That drought may hold still this year with how the Lions are playing over the last five weeks. 

Detroit has a 3-2 record, yet the defense has allowed an average of 29.8 points per game. The fewest amount of points the Lions have let up during that stretch is 26. The Lions are a bottom-two defense in points allowed per game and red zone defense over the past seven games, a disturbing trend that doesn't bode well for January football.

The Lions face teams that are .500 or better the rest of the way (entering Week 14). They have time to turn this around and get ready for the playoffs but the defense needs to improve if Detroit wants to win a playoff game. 

Joe Flacco is the best quarterback on Browns roster 

Overreaction or reality: Reality

Cleveland pays a player $230 million in guaranteed money, and he isn't the best quarterback on the team. That honor belongs to Flacco this year, who threw for 311 yards and three touchdowns in Sunday's win over the Jaguars. Flacco is the only Browns quarterback this year to throw for 300 yards and three touchdowns -- not Watson.

The Browns put up 30 points for the first time in a month with Flacco, who is 38 by the way. In Flacco's two starts, he has completed 55.1% of his passes for 565 yards with five touchdowns to two interceptions for an 83.8 passer rating 

The stats are similar to Watson (who has an 84.3 rating and seven touchdown passes), but Flacco is getting paid considerably less. Watson is the franchise quarterback and the better option long term, but Flacco has been better through just two games in 2023. 

Ravens will end up as No. 1 seed in AFC 

Overreaction or reality: Overreaction

How the Dolphins fare over their final five games (Miami plays Monday) will factor in, but the Ravens had a massive win over the Rams to temporarily take over the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Even with the overtime victory, the Ravens have a brutal schedule coming up with the Jaguars (road), 49ers (road), Dolphins (home) and Steelers (home).

That New Year's Eve game against Miami is likely to determine the No. 1 seed in the conference based on how the AFC is playing out. Miami does have a bit of an easier slate to finish with the Titans (home), Jets (home), Cowboys (home), Ravens (road) and Bills (home).

Just too early to crown the No. 1 seed in the AFC right now, even if Miami still hasn't beaten a team with a winning record. 

Broncos will win 10 games

Overreaction or reality: Reality

All of a sudden the Broncos appear poised to finish with a winning record, even if Denver is currently the No. 10 seed in the AFC. Denver hasn't ended a season with a winning record since 2016 and hasn't won 10 games in a season since 2015 (the year the Broncos won Super Bowl 50). 

The Broncos play the Lions on Saturday, then finish with the Patriots (home), Chargers (home) and Raiders (road). The final three games are winnable contests against under-.500 teams, especially for a Broncos team that has won six of seven and is in the thick of the AFC playoff race. 

Denver appears primed for a double-digit win season, which seemed improbable in September.