clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NFL Playoff Scenario: What needs to happen for the Steelers to claim the 5th seed

The Pittsburgh Steelers are currently locked into the 6th seed of the AFC Playoff Picture with two games remaining. What would need to happen for the Steelers to move up to the 5th seed?

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are currently in the 6th position in the current AFC Playoff Picture, and although things seem fairly certain in regards to which teams will make the postseason, the positioning of those teams couldn't be further from over.

In fact, the coveted 5th seed is very much alive for the Steelers, and there are two scenarios which would have Pittsburgh as the 5th seed preparing to travel to either the Houston Texans, or whomever emerges from the lowly AFC South as the champion.

Scenario No. 1:

Kansas City Chiefs lose one of their last two games, and the Pittsburgh Steelers win their final two. Just one slip up from the Chiefs would move the Steelers ahead of them if they are able to win out, giving them the 5th seed.

Scenario No. 2:

Week 16:
Kansas City Chiefs beat the Cleveland Browns +
Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Baltimore Ravens +
Denver Broncos lose to the Cincinnati Bengals

This would equate to the Steelers being the 5th seed, the Chiefs as the 3rd seed and the Broncos as the 6th seed. Assuming the New England Patriots are capable of defeating the New York Jets in Week 16, if both the Chiefs and Steelers win their final game the Broncos' fate would be stuck in the 6th seed. If the Jets somehow beat the Patriots, then the Week 17 game between the Broncos and San Diego Chargers would be a scoreboard watching game since if the Jets beat the Buffalo Bills in week 17, they would be the 6th seed and send Denver packing.

A lot rides on the Denver Broncos Week 16 game against the Cincinnati Bengals. If the Bengals go into Mile High and knock off the Broncos, there is a strong likelihood the Steelers will nab a higher seed than they currently hold. However, all this hinges on the Steelers defeating the Ravens in Week 16, and the Browns in Week 17, both games on the road, but games the Steelers will be heavy favorites to win.