The Pittsburgh Steelers are 9-5, but so are the Kansas City Chiefs and the New York Jets. Despite the Jets win over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 15, the Steelers have leap frogged them in the AFC Playoff Picture due to winning percentage against like opponents. As was reported the past two weeks, if the Steelers win the rest of their games, they are in the playoffs. They truly control their own destiny.
Let's take a look at the current AFC Playoff Picture after Week 15:
3. Denver Broncos - 10-4
6. Pittsburgh Steelers - 9-5
4. Houston Texans - 7-7
5. Kansas City Chiefs - 9-5
With only two weeks left in the 2015 regular season, the group considered "in the hunt" has dwindled down to teams vying for the lowly AFC South division title, and the trio of 9-5 teams with only 2 Wild Card positions available. Again, if the Steelers are able to defeat the Baltimore Ravens in Week 16, and the Cleveland Browns in Week 17, they will have clinched their second straight postseason berth.
As for the trio of 9-5 teams, take a look at their remaining games left in 2015:
Kansas City Chiefs:
REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. Browns (3-11), vs. Raiders (6-8)
REMAINING OPPONENTS: at Ravens (4-10), at Browns (3-11)
New York Jets:
REMAINING OPPONENTS: vs. Patriots (12-2), at Bills (6-8)
The fact of the matter is that the AFC Playoff Picture can change dramatically between now and the end of Week 17. The AFC North is all but set with the Bengals taking control after beating the San Francisco 49ers in Week 15, but the AFC West is anything but settled.
With the Broncos loss to the Steelers, the Chiefs are only one game behind the Broncos. Denver's final two games has them at home against Cincinnati in Week 16, and hosting the San Diego Chargers in Week 17. There is a chance the Chiefs could win the division if Denver continues to stumble, which could mean the Chiefs claiming the 3rd seed. If that happens, the Steelers could be making a return trip to Arrowhead Stadium, this time with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback.
Needless to say, a lot can still change between now and the end of Week 17. Get your popcorn ready!