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AFC Playoff Picture: Where the Steelers reside heading into Week 16

Taking an early look at where the Steelers are in the AFC Playoff Picture heading into Week 16.

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is 114 games old, and they sit at 7-6-1 heading into a Week 16 matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, at Arrowhead Stadium. With three games remaining, it is time we 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.

While the Steelers season hasn’t gone as planned, the AFC remains a muddled mess of teams who are just a game or two away from one another. This Playoff Picture can, and likely will, dramatically change by the week. This week it is Kansas City who tops the AFC ranks, but recent history has shown those who take that spot don’t stay there very long.

Let’s take a look at where things sit heading into Week 16:

1. Kansas City Chiefs (10-4) Remaining schedule: vs. PIT, at CIN, at DEN
2. New England Patriots (9-5) Remaining schedule: vs. BUF, vs. JAX, at MIA
3. Tennessee Titans (9-5) Remaining schedule: vs. SF, vs. MIA, at HOU
4. Cincinnati Bengals (8-6) Remaining schedule: vs. BAL, vs. KC, at CLE
5. Indianapolis Colts (8-6) Remaining schedule: at ARI, vs. LVR, at JAX
6. Los Angeles Chargers (8-6) Remaining schedule: at HOU, vs. DEN, at LV
7. Buffalo Bills (8-6) Remaining schedule: at NE, vs. ATL, NYJ

In the hunt:
8. Baltimore Ravens (8-6) Remaining schedule: at CIN, vs. LAR, vs. PIT
9. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6-1) Remaining schedule: at KC, vs. CLE, at BAL
10. Las Vegas Raiders (7-7) Remaining schedule: vs. DEN, at IND, vs. LAC
11. Miami Dolphins (7-7) Remaining schedule: at NO, at TEN, vs. NE
12. Cleveland Browns (7-7 ) Remaining schedule: at GB, at PIT, vs. CIN
13. Denver Broncos (7-7) Remaining schedule: at LVR, at LAC, vs. KC

With three weeks remaining in the NFL regular season, anything is possible to make these standings completely flip. For instance, if the Steelers beat the Chiefs Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, and the Ravens beat the Bengals, expect these standings to look extremely different heading into Week 17.

Nonetheless, the Steelers still need to take care of their business if they want to be considered a legitimate threat in the AFC. Right now they are on the outside looking in, but when you look at the rest of their schedule it is daunting, but can also show what the Steelers are, or aren’t, made of this season.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Chiefs Sunday.