The AFC playoff picture is shaping up as far as the Steelers are concerned. Beating Buffalo could vault the Steelers into the No. 5 seeding. Of course, the Steelers do need to win, but other games still have a direct impact on them. With parity ablaze in the AFC, the playoff contenders are far from being determined. However, it starts taking more and more of a shape with every passing week.
Most of the time, Steelers fans know who to root for. But here’s a guide to significant matchups, and whose losses the Steelers would benefit more from this weekend. Once again, the Steelers need to win for this wish list to be viable. For those that argue that this is a fruitless exercise, then think of this as a rooting guide for the Steelers traded first-rounder to go later.
If the season ended today, the Steelers would be the sixth seed in the AFC, but there are plenty of teams to root for in other action.
Here are the current AFC playoff standings.
- Baltimore Ravens 11-2 (Would win AFC North and earn a First Round Bye)
- New England Patriots 10-3 (Would win AFC East and earn a First Round Bye)
- Kansas City Chiefs 9-4 (Would win AFC West and host Wild Card Pittsburgh)
- Houston Texans 8-5 (Would win AFC South and host Buffalo;)
- Buffalo Bills 9-4 (Would earn Wild Card and travel to Houston)
- Pittsburgh Steelers 8-5 (Would earn Wild Card and travel to Kansas City)
- Tennessee Titans 8-5
- Cleveland Browns 6-7
- Oakland Raiders 6-7
- Indianapolis Colts 6-7
- Denver Broncos 5-8
- X Los Angeles Chargers 5-8
- X New York Jets 5-8
- X Jacksonville Jaguars 4-9
- X Miami Dolphins 3-10
- X Cincinnati Bengals 1-12
New York Jets at Baltimore Ravens - Thursday 8:20 PM, FOX
The Ravens aren’t going to lose at home, let alone to the Jets. Plus, you don’t need a rooting guide to cheer against these guys.
Who to root for: New York Jets
Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans - Sunday 1:00 PM, CBS
The winner of this series could be a Steeler opponent coming up in the Wild Card. So, pick your poison. I’d rather see Tennessee.
Who to root for: Tennessee Titans
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs - Sunday 1:00 PM, CBS
The Chiefs are surging again. I would love to see them knocked back down to earth.
Who to root for: Denver Broncos
New England Patriots at Cincinnati Bengals - Sunday 1:00 PM, CBS
Cincinnati has lost their bite, so rooting for them doesn’t feel as dirty. I doubt they beat the Patriots though. However, it would mean panic for Pats fans.
Who to root for: Cincinnati Bengals
Jacksonville Jaguars at Oakland Raiders - Sunday 4:05 PM, CBS
Oakland is struggling and almost out of the picture. Finish them.
Who to root for: Jacksonville Jaguars
Cleveland Browns at Arizona Cardinals - Sunday 4:05 PM, CBS
Browns need to win-out and hope. A loss ends the pipe dream.
Who to root for: Arizona Cardinals
Indianapolis Colts at New Orleans Saints - Monday 8:15 PM, ESPN
A Colts loss finishes them as far as Pittsburgh is concerned.
Who to root for: New Orleans Saints
Other AFC Games in Week 15:
Miami Dolphins at New York Giants - Sunday 1:00 PM, CBS
Minnesota Vikings at Los Angeles Chargers - Sunday 4:05 PM, CBS