For the teams who are still major contenders in the AFC Playoff picture, Week 9 is in the books. Since the NFL schedule is now onto the 'back nine', it is time to start focusing on the major prize for NFL teams, and that would be punching their respective ticket to the postseason.
For the Pittsburgh Steelers, their Week 9 victory over the Oakland Raiders, re-inserted them into the playoff picture as the 6th seed, if the playoffs were to start today. Clearly, there are still 7 games to be played, but when it comes to looking ahead it is never too early to look at potential landing spots for teams jockeying for position.
Heading into Week 10, here is the AFC Playoff Picture:
3. Denver Broncos (7-1)
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4)
In the hunt:
With these standing sure to shake up over the next several weeks, there is always the chance of tie-breakers coming into play to decide the team which makes the postseason, and the team which watches the postseason at home. For some light reading, you can read the tie-breaking procedures here, but for the Steelers and their poor AFC record they will want to take care of business in their final 7 games to ensure a team like the Raiders or Jets, with a better conference record, doesn't take the tie-breaker from them and possibly sending them home.
The Steelers have climbed their way back into the big picture, but staying there without Ben Roethlisberger will be the challenge. The Steelers host the Cleveland Browns in Week 10 before their bye week, and fans across the globe are hoping Roethlisberger can return to face the Seattle Seahawks in Week 12 and help carry the team to the postseason for back-to-back seasons.