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AFC Playoff Picture: A lot can change for the Steelers in one short week

The Pittsburgh Steelers currently control their own destiny, but that can change in the blink of an eye.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Pittsburgh Steelers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2019 season is 12 games old, and they sit at 7-5 heading into a Week 14 matchup with the Arizona Cardinals. With only four games remaining on the team’s schedule, it is now we start to take a look at the AFC Playoff Picture, and what might need to take place for the black-and-gold to get into the postseason.

After a Week 13 win over the Cleveland Browns, the Steelers are once again in the sixth seed and in control of their own destiny heading into Sunday’s game in Arizona.

Let’s take a look at where things sit heading into Week 14:

AFC Playoff Picture — Week 14

1. Baltimore Ravens (10-2) REMAINING OPPONENTS: at Bills (9-3), vs. Jets (4-8), at Browns (5-7), vs. Steelers (7-5)
2. New England Patriots (10-2) REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. Chiefs (8-4), at Bengals (1-11), vs. Bills (9-3), vs. Dolphins (3-9)
3. Houston Texans (8-4) REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. Broncos (4-8), at Titans (7-5), at Buccaneers (5-7), vs. Titans (7-5)
4. Kansas City Chiefs (8-4) REMAINING OPPONENTS: at Patriots (10-2), vs. Broncos (4-8), at Bears (6-6), vs. Chargers (4-8)
5. Buffalo Bills (9-3) REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. Ravens (10-2), at Steelers (7-5), at Patriots (10-2), vs. Jets (4-8)
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5) REMAINING OPPONENTS: at Cardinals (3-8-1), vs. Bills (9-3), at Jets (4-8), at Ravens (10-2)

In the hunt:

7. Tennessee Titans (7-5) REMAINING OPPONENTS: at Raiders (6-6), vs. Texans (8-4), vs. Saints (10-2), at Texans (8-4)
8. Oakland Raiders (6-6) REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. Titans (7-5), vs. Jaguars (4-8), at Chargers (4-8), at Broncos (4-8)
9. Indianapolis Colts (6-6) REMAINING OPPONENTS: at Buccaneers (5-7), at Saints (10-2), vs. Panthers (5-7), at Jaguars (4-8)
10. Cleveland Browns (5-7) REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. Bengals (1-11), at Cardinals (3-8-1), vs. Ravens (10-2), at Bengals (1-11)

These standings will shuffle significantly in just a couple weeks, let alone by Week 17. Just take a look at the games in Week 14. The Titans vs. Raiders game will have a significant impact on the Playoff Picture. So will the Chiefs vs. Patriots, Ravens vs. Bills and of course whoever the Steelers play the rest of the season.

The Steelers still play the Bills on their schedule, at home, and a win over Buffalo would catapult them in front if there were a tie between the two teams. It is that time of year when you look at potential tie breakers, remaining schedules and see just how the seedings will fall when the dust settles.

Pittsburgh also has the head-to-head win over the Colts, and it seems the Colts, Titans and Texans could eliminate all but the division winner over the next few weeks. The Colts’ finishing schedule is easier than the Texans, but between the Texans, Titans and Colts, those three teams will certainly help pave the way for Pittsburgh to get a good look at a Wild Card spot.

It is sad to say, but the Steelers’ only hope for a playoff berth would be via the Wild Card. The Ravens look like the best team in the NFL at the current moment.

The Steelers have the easiest remaining schedule in the NFL, per PFF, and taking care of their own business will leave no doubt whether they deserve a spot in the playoffs. A lot can change in just a couple weeks...

Take a look at the above standings; who do you see failing down the stretch? And which team will be a surprise to climb the rankings? Let us know in the comment section below!

Here are the Playoff Clinching Scenarios for Week 14: