It is hard to believe, but the NFL regular season is winding down. With only 1 week left in the regular season, it is time to start looking ahead to the postseason. In other words, taking a look at the latest AFC Playoff Picture.
For some of the teams listed below the word playoffs is not just foreign, but also something which is nothing more than a pipe dream. Nonetheless, until that asterisk resides next to their favorite team’s name, signifying mathematical elimination from the postseason, there is still hope.
Let’s take a look at the latest Playoff Picture for the AFC:
(Editor’s Note: With the Bills and Bengals game being suspended, and the NFL unsure how to move forward with the game, this is the current playoff picture as listed on the league’s official website.)
1. Kansas City Chiefs (13-3) *
2. Buffalo Bills (12-3) *
3. Cincinnati Bengals (11-4) +
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-8)
5. Los Angeles Chargers (10-6) +
6. Baltimore Ravens (10-6) +
7. New England Patriots (8-8)
+- Clinched Playoff Berth
In the Hunt:
8. Miami Dolphins (8-8)
9. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8)
10. Tennessee Titans (7-9)
Las Vegas Raiders
New York Jets
For teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers, a 8-8 record is far from inspiring when it comes to playoff potential. The loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 14 was a crippling blow to the team’s hopes of a playoff berth, but three straight wins, over the Carolina Panthers in Week 15, Las Vegas Raiders in Week 16, and Baltimore Ravens in Week 17, along with some help around the league, has the team still clinging to hope.
What once was a long shot to make the dance, has now become a clear, and potentially realistic, path to the playoffs. To be specific, in Week 18 the Steelers need the following to happen to get into the playoffs:
- Steelers beat the Browns
- Buffalo Bills beat the New England Patriots
- New York Jets beat the Miami Dolphins
A win over the Cleveland Browns in Week 18 would move their record to 9-8 and would help give the global fan base a little bit of hope, but they’ll still need help, and that doesn’t always work out in your favor.