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AFC Review

November 19, 2012

All four AFC division leaders gained in the standings yesterday. Three of the four AFC division leaders have three game leads while the (8-2) Baltimore Ravens who won (13-10) as a field goal favorite at the Pittsburgh(Steelers), lead the AFC North by two games. Additionally, Pittsburgh was without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger last night and likely will be when the Steelers visit Baltimore in two weeks.

The (9-1) Houston Texans did win in overtime (43-37) vs the (1-9) Jacksonville Jaguars but struggled mightily to do so. Houston trailed the 15 point underdog, Jaguars (34-20) with less than six minutes left in the fourth quarter. However, Texans’ quarterback Matt Schaub, who threw five touchdown passes, rallied Houston to the victory. In the overtime, in this the first regular season with the new overtime rules whereby the first team to score does not necessarily win, each team made a field goal. Then Schaub threw a touchdown pass to Andre Johnson to win the game.

Elsewhere the (7-3) New England Patriots, who did trail (7-0) and (14-7), eased to a (59-24) victory over the Indianapolis Colts. The Pats were ten point favorites at home while the Colts with a (6-4) record are tied with the Steelers for the AFC wild card lead (two wild card teams will join the four division winners in the playoffs). New England gained ground on the (4-6) Miami Dolphins and now lead the AFC East by three games. The Patriots are virtually certain to capture their tenth AFC East crown in the last twelve seasons.

Finally, it looks like the (7-3) Denver Broncos in the AFC West as they actually have the biggest divisional lead after a (30-23) win at home vs the (4-6) San Diego Chargers. The Broncos lead is three and a half games because they would have the tiebreaker against the Chargers, having beaten them in both tilts this season. The Denver comeback win on October 15th in a Monday night game at S.D. was the key game in what now will almost surely manifest in a second straight AFC West crown for the Broncos.

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