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AFC Playoff Picture: Steelers postseason life rests on the resting Kansas City Chiefs

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The Chiefs will not play their starters in a game the Steelers need them to win to advance in the postseason.

Justin K. Aller

Need a Dolphins loss? Thank you, New York Jets. Gotta see Baltimore lose? 'Preciate it, Cincinnati.

Pittsburgh, naturally, will beat Cleveland. All that's left in the equation is a Chiefs win over San Diego.

In one of the deeper playoff tiebreakers the NFL will see, the Pittsburgh Steelers are on the verge of becoming just the second team in league history to qualify for the postseason after losing its first four games. Incidentally, the 1992 San Diego Chargers are the only team to have accomplished that.

The Steelers defeated Cleveland in fairly pedestrian order. The Browns had nothing to play for, and it seemed like they knew that better than anyone. Cincinnati exploited three Joe Flacco interceptions and somehow overcame four picks from Andy Dalton in a game that won't likely be used in developing future quarterbacks.

The Jets simply overpowered the not-ready-for-primetime Dolphins, who simply choked their way out of the postseason.

Now...it's up to the Chiefs...who unfortunately, are not playing any of their starters. A frustrating decision on their part, but an understandable one.

The Chiefs and Chargers kick off at 4:25 p.m. from San Diego.