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AFC playoff scenarios: One wild card spot between four teams in Week 17

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Multiple scenarios exist in the AFC playoff picture, and they won't be decided until after the Bengals game at Pittsburgh is finished.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers really don't have any kind of formal rooting interest in the early or afternoon games. Unless they wouldn't take a small sense of enjoyment out of seeing Baltimore miss the postseason for the second consecutive year.

That doesn't do much of anything, though, except potentially set up a re-match between the Steelers and Ravens. Baltimore will have to defeat Cleveland today - they are 13.5 point favorites after Cleveland put Johnny Manziel on the shelf and Brian Hoyer is unable to give his free agency value one more jolt. Connor Shaw will start for the Browns at Baltimore.

Seeing a Browns win in this one feels about as likely as Houston starting Case Keenum and seeing him lead the Texans to a win. Ahem.

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger slaughtered the Colts.

It won't matter at all, because if San Diego defeats Kansas City, the Chargers will take the sixth seed, and will begin preparing for a road Wild Card round playoff game against the winner of the Bengals at Steelers game. The Chargers and Chiefs kick off at 1 p.m. ET in Kansas City, as do the Browns and Ravens from Baltimore.

Houston is still technically alive, but they'll need both San Diego and Baltimore to lose. They would take the tiebreaker over the Chiefs, who are at the back of the line of playoff hopefuls, needing to beat San Diego along with a Browns win over the Ravens and a Jaguars win over the Texans.

(sidenote: There's a parlay for you...Browns over Ravens, Chiefs (with Chase Daniels under center) over San Diego and Jacksonville (with Blake Bortles still under center) over Houston. According to Bovada, I'd win $568 if I bet $100. I'm probably not going to make that bet.)

That will clear out the picture for Sunday Night Football. The winner of the Bengals at Steelers game will host the surviving aforementioned team (in order of simplicity, San Diego doesn't need help, they need only to win, Baltimore needs a win and a Chargers loss, Houston needs losses from Baltimore and San Diego along with a win over Jacksonville, and Kansas City needs to win and get losses from Baltimore and Houston). The one caveat is a Denver loss against Oakland and a Bengals win would give them the No. 2 seed, and the No. 6 seed would travel to Denver next week. If Pittsburgh wins, they host the wild card team, Denver gets the second seed and Cincinnati travels to Indianapolis.

New England has already clinched the top seed, Indianapolis has clinched the No. 4 seed as well as the AFC South division. Denver will be the second or third seed and Pittsburgh and Cincinnati will be the third or fifth seed.