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AFC Playoff Picture: Where the Steelers reside heading into Week 15

The Steelers are no longer the top seed in the AFC, but will they be able to hold onto the No. 2 spot?

Pittsburgh Steelers v Buffalo Bills Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2020 season is 13 games old, and they sit at 11-2 heading into a Week 15 matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football, in Cincinnati. With only three games remaining, we take a look at the AFC Playoff Picture, and what might need to take place for the black-and-gold to not just get into the postseason, but possibly secure the lone bye in the playoffs.

After their second loss of the season, the Steelers no longer are the top seed in the NFL, but can they lock in the 2nd spot, or maybe reclaim the top spot from the Kanas City Chiefs?

Let’s take a look at where things sit heading into Week 15:

AFC Playoff Picture — Week 15

1. Kansas City Chiefs (12-1) *+ REMAINING OPPONENTS: @NO, vs. ATL, vs. LAC
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2) + REMAINING OPPONENTS: @CIN, vs. IND, @CLE
3. Buffalo Bills (10-3) REMAINING OPPONENTS: @DEN, @NE, vs. MIA
4. Tennessee Titans (9-4) REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. DET, @GB, @HOU
5. Cleveland Browns (9-4) REMAINING OPPONENTS: @NYG, @NYJ. vs. PIT
6. Indianapolis Colts (9-4) REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. HOU, @PIT, vs. JAX
7. Miami Dolphins (8-5) REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. NE, @LV, @BUF

In the hunt:
8. Baltimore Ravens (8-5) REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. JAX, vs. NYG, @CIN
9. Las Vegas Raiders (7-6) REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. LAC, vs, MIA, @DEN
10. New England Patriots (6-7) REMAINING OPPONENTS: @MIA, vs. BUF, vs. NYJ

* - Clinched Division
+ - Clinched Playoff Berth
= - Clinched Playoff Seed

The AFC Playoff Picture is one thing, but scenarios are another. What needs to happen for the Steelers to clinch the AFC North?

Pittsburgh Steelers to clinch the AFC North

PIT win
CLE loss
PIT tie + CLE tie

As for the rest of the AFC, here are the playoff scenarios for the upcoming week of NFL action:

Buffalo Bills to clinch the AFC East

BUF win
MIA loss
BUF tie + MIA tie

Buffalo Bills clinch playoff berth

BUF tie + BAL loss or tie
BAL loss

Kansas City Chiefs to clinch the top seed in the AFC Playoffs

KC win + PIT loss + BUF loss or tie

Tennessee Titans to clinch a playoff berth

TEN win + BAL loss
TEN win + LV loss or tie + MIA loss + CLE win or tie
TEN win + LV loss or tie + MIA loss + TEN or CLE clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over MIA

The simple way is a Steelers win and they clinch the AFC North. Period. But Pittsburgh isn’t relocated to winning the division crown in only that way. With all that said, what do you think will go down on Monday night in Cincinnati, as well as in games which could impact the AFC North division and playoff seedings? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!