As usual, Thursday Night Football was the most anticipated matchup of the week, and…

… yeah, no, I still can’t believe it either. But the 21-13 TNF triumph of the Kansas City Chiefs over the Oakland Raiders wasn’t just an exciting matchup, it was a hugely decisive result that re-shaped the AFC playoff picture.

Amidst rumors that head coach Rex Ryan might lose his job if his Buffalo Bills’ game against the Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t go well, it… didn’t go well. The final score, 27-20, flatters the Bills, against whom Steelers tailback Le’Veon Bell had a record-breaking day: 236 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, plus four catches for 62 yards.

At the time of this writing, Ryan still has his job.

The Carolina Panthers won the Good Teams Who Already Lost Too Much for This Game to Matter Bowl, beating the San Diego Chargers 28-16. The return of RGIII returned the winless Browns to the loser’s column after this nonsense:

It took a little extra derring-do from Comeback King Matthew Stafford, who dislocated a finger in the effort — but the Detroit Lions got the all-important W against the Chicago Bears — and Stafford broke Peyton Manning’s single-season record for games with both a fourth-quarter comeback and game-winning drive.

The Houston Texans look set to be the worst team ever to win a division. They outlasted Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts and are now tied with the Tennessee Titans at 7-6, but have a far easier schedule and own all the tiebreakers. Somehow, a team that ranks 28th in offense, 26th in defense and 30th in Football Outsiders Team DVOA is going to host a playoff game.

The Minnesota Vikings kept their playoff hopes on life support, with a 25-16 win over the flailing Jacksonville Jaguars. The Miami Dolphins technically stayed alive for the postseason, too — but Ryan Tannehill’s ACL tear puts their season in the hands of backup Matt Moore, as the Miami Herald‘s Greg Cote wrote.

The Philadelphia Eagles didn’t make it easy on Kirk Cousins and his Washington squad, but the final score was 27-22, putting them back on the bubble of the NFC playoff race, currently the top team out. The Tennessee Titans scored the first 13 points of the game against the Denver Broncos… and grossly enough, that was enough. A 13-10 win keeps them tied with Houston — and sets off alarm bells in Denver.

About Ty Schalter

Ty Schalter is thrilled to be part of The Comeback. A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Ty also works as an NFL columnist for Bleacher Report and VICE Sports, and regular host for Sirius XM’s Bleacher Report Radio. In another life, he was an IT cubicle drone with a pretentious Detroit Lions blog.