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NFL Playoff Picture: Key Week 13 matchups in AFC

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Three NFL games in Week 13 will go a long way in shaping the AFC playoffs.

Donald Miralle/Getty Images

The NFL playoffs are approaching fast with just five regular-season games left. The AFC features a host of teams that could go from leading their division one week to being out of the playoff picture the next.

That's primarily thanks to the AFC North, which features an unprecedented four teams with seven wins. They're not alone though, as four other teams with at least six wins are fighting for playoff spots.

Here's a look at the biggest AFC amtchups this week in terms of playoff implications:

Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills

The 7-4 Browns are still very much in the race for either the AFC North or a Wild Card spot, but the 6-5 Bills must win this game to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. The Browns still have games vs. the colts, Bengals and Ravens, so this is actually one of the easier games for Cleveland heading down the stretch.

As for those Bills, with games against the Packers, Patriots and Broncos still left, they must win this game to keep their already slim playoff dreams within reach.

San Diego Chargers at Baltimore Ravens

With both teams currently sitting at 7-4, the Chargers and Ravens are still in the hunt for their respective divisions, but in the event both teams are fighting for one of the final Wild Card spots, the winner of this game could serve as a tiebreaker if both team are tied at season's end.

Baltimore has one of the more manageable 4-game stretches to end the season with games against the Jaguars, Texans, Dolphins and a home-finale against the Browns. They're poised to make it to the playoffs if they can just win their home games, which start this week.

As for San Diego, they have to face the Patriots, 49ers, Broncos and Chiefs to end their season. No playoff-contender has a more difficult path to the playoffs than them.

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs

With Denver sitting at 8-3 and KC at 7-4, this game could ultimately determine who wins the AFC West. Denver took the first matchup in Week 2, but only escaped with a 7-point win at home. The Chiefs have won seven of nine to put themselves firmly in the playoff picture, while Denver has lost two of four and lost their grip on the division.

The Chiefs still have games at Pittsburgh and at Arizona to go with their home finale against the Chargers, so winning the West is a tall task, but a playoff berth is certainly within reach.

As for Denver, the Bengals, Raiders, Chargers and Bills makeup the rest of their schedule. They 'should' hold on to at least win the AFC West while challenging the Colts and whoever wins the AFC North for the No. 2 seed in the AFC.