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Mike Tomlin fined $100K

Mike Tomlin said he didn't interfere with Jacoby Jones' kickoff return on purpose, but the NFL isn't letting him get away with it regardless. The league fined Tomlin $100,000 on Wednesday, one of the heftiest fines ever levied on an NFL head coach. Tomlin avoided suspension, but his line treading may come at a further cost to the Steelers -- the league is still considering whether the Steelers should lose out on draft picks next year. All that, and the Steelers still lost.

  • What do you make of the NFL fining Mike Tomlin $100,000 for interfering with Jacoby Jones' kickoff return?

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  • Do you believe Mike Tomlin when he said that he did not intentionally try to affect Jacoby Jones' kickoff return?

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  • What's your take on Mike Tomlin's sideline interference?

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  • Should the Steelers lose a draft pick due to Mike Tomlin interfering with Jacoby Jones' kickoff return?

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  • Which $100,000 fine on a coach was more justified?

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  • How much do you think it would hurt to be fined $100,000 when you make $5.75 million per year?

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While the Denver Broncos were taking control of the AFC West against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, the other three top AFC contenders took care of business to extend their leads atop their respective divisions. And although none has officially clinched, the Cincinnati Bengals (two games up), New England Patriots (three) and Indianapolis Colts (also three) seem destined to host playoff contests come January.

Elsewhere, the Miami Dolphins moved to .500 by hammering the New York Jets, while the Baltimore Ravens looked on after beating the rival Pittsburgh Steelers on Thanksgiving. Which wild-card contender will taste the postseason? How will the division leaders fare?


Patriots' outlook?

The Patriots moved to 9-3 on Sunday -- but had to eke out a win over Houston.

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How far will the Patriots go this season?

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Bengals' outlook?

The Bengals topped the host Chargers 17-10, moving them to 8-4 with three home games left.

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How far will the Bengals go this season?

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Colts' outlook?

Indy hasn't looked great of late but is 8-4 and should cruise to the AFC South title.

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How far will the Colts go this season?

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Last spot?

The Dolphins and Ravens are one game ahead of a four-team pack at 5-7.

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If the top five playoff spots hold in the AFC, which team will earn the sixth?

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You know how the NFL goes: One shouldn't assume anything. But -- despite losses by the Indianapolis Colts and Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday -- the top five playoff spots in the AFC have seemed locked up for some time. That last berth, though? The race continues to be heated. Six teams (New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans and San Diego Chargers) currently are tied for that position, with 5-6 records. Three (Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders) trail by just one game. Of those nine teams, which is most likely to make the playoffs? Least likely? Click on the images below to set your rankings!

AFC wild-card contenders

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Who makes playoffs from AFC?

With each passing week, things get muddier in the AFC playoff picture. Well, not among the top five teams -- the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals all have one foot through the postseason door. But that last spot is up for grabs, with eight teams within one game of qualifying.

The New York Jets, they of a 37-14 loss at Buffalo on Sunday, are tied for the spot. The Miami Dolphins, who gave the Tampa Bay Buccaneers their first win all season, also own a 5-5 record. A trio of AFC North teams -- the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens -- all are 4-6, as are the Tennessee Titans, San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders. How will the whole thing play out?

  • Will the AFC's current top five teams (Kansas City, Denver, New England, Indianapolis and Cincinnati) all make the playoffs?

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  • If the top five playoff spots (Chiefs, Bengals, Patriots, Colts, Broncos) hold in the AFC, which team will earn the sixth?

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  • Which 4-6 AFC North team has the best chance of making the playoffs?

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  • Which of these surprising playoff contenders has the best shot of reaching the postseason?

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  • Are the Chargers (4-6, 4 games against Kansas City, Denver and Cincinnati remaining) finished?

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  • How has the Jonathan Martin/Richie Incognito situation affected the Dolphins?

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  • Which team had the biggest win Sunday?

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  • The Jets pulled Geno Smith during Sunday's 37-14 loss at Buffalo. Should they bench him next week at Baltimore?

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AFC playoff race heating up

Six AFC teams end Week 10 within one game of the second wild-card spot. Two -- the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns -- are clawing ever closer to the top of the AFC North, whose leader (the Cincinnati Bengals) lost its second straight game Sunday and its defensive leader last Thursday. In other words, intrigue abounds in the season's final seven weeks.

  • If the AFC's top five teams (Chiefs, Broncos, Patriots, Colts, Bengals) all reach the playoffs, which team will grab the other slot?

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  • Which team will win the AFC?

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  • Will the AFC's current top five teams (Kansas City, Denver, New England, Indianapolis and Cincinnati) all make the playoffs?

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  • Which of the AFC's current top five is in the most danger of missing the playoffs?

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  • Which team will win the AFC West?

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  • Will the Bengals (6-4, 1.5 games up on Browns and Ravens) win the AFC North?

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