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AFC Playoff Picture: Where the Steelers reside heading into Week 17

Taking a look at where the Steelers are in the AFC Playoff Picture heading into Week 17.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is 15 games old, and they sit at 7-7-1 heading into a Week 17 matchup with the Cleveland Browns on Monday, at Heinz Field. With two 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 17:

1. Kansas City Chiefs (11-4) Remaining schedule: at CIN, at DEN
2. Tennessee Titans (10-5) Remaining schedule: vs. MIA, at HOU
3. Cincinnati Bengals (9-6) Remaining schedule: vs. KC, at CLE
4. Buffalo Bills (9-6) Remaining schedule: vs. ATL, at NYJ
5. Indianapolis Colts (9-6) Remaining schedule: vs. LVR, at JAX
6. New England Patriots (9-6) Remaining schedule: vs. JAX, at MIA
7. Miami Dolphins (8-7) Remaining schedule: at TEN, vs. NE

In the hunt:
8. Los Angeles Chargers (8-7) Remaining schedule: vs. DEN, at LV
9. Las Vegas Raiders (8-7) Remaining schedule: at IND, vs. LAC
10. Baltimore Ravens (8-7) Remaining schedule: vs. LAR, vs. PIT
11. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7-1) Remaining schedule: vs. CLE, at BAL
12. Cleveland Browns (7-8) Remaining schedule: at PIT, vs. CIN
13. Denver Broncos (7-8) Remaining schedule: at LAC, vs. KC

With two weeks remaining in the NFL regular season, anything is possible to make these standings completely flip. For instance, if the Steelers beat the Browns Monday at Heinz Field, it would all but kill the Browns’ playoff hopes. So, expect these standings to look different heading into Week 18.

Nonetheless, the Steelers still need to take care of their business if they want to be considered a playoff team 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 Browns on Monday night.