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AFC Playoff Picture: Teams get juggled, but Steelers still in the thick of the hunt

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For the AFC, Week 12 is officially in the rear view mirror. Time to update the Playoff Picture, as well as where the Steelers stand among their peers.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis Colts Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

It has long been realized the Pittsburgh Steelers path to the AFC postseason will come by winning the AFC North. It is a two horse race in the division, but might there be hope for a Wild Card spot if their division title hopes don’t come to fruition?

Possibly.

After Week 12 in NFL action, a lot has changed in the AFC Playoff Picture. Teams have moved from “in the hunt” to officially seeded in the playoff picture, while other teams simply swapped order among the 6 who would get a ticket to the postseason dance.

The Steelers’ best hopes of making the playoffs still reside in winning the division, and the Christmas day game against the Baltimore Ravens could ultimately seal the deal in that regard, but the field seems to be falling back to Pittsburgh, giving the team hope of multiple avenues to the postseason, and not just the division or bust.

Time to take a look at the current AFC Playoff Picture, as well as the remaining schedule for all teams still considered “in the hunt”.

AFC Playoff Picture (Week 12)

1. New England Patriots - 9-2 - Remaining Games: vs. Rams (4-7), vs. Ravens (6-5), at Broncos (7-4), vs. Jets (3-8), at Dolphins (7-4)
2. Oakland Raiders - 9-2 - Remaining Games: vs. Bills (6-5), at Chiefs (8-3), at Chargers (5-6), vs. Colts (5-6), at Broncos (7-4)
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3. Baltimore Ravens - 6-5 - Remaining Games: vs. Dolphins (7-4), at Patriots (9-2), vs. Eagles (5-5), at Steelers (6-5), at Bengals (3-7-1)
6. Miami Dolphins - 7-4 - Remaining Games: at Ravens (6-5), vs. Cardinals (4-6-1), at Jets (3-8), at Bills (6-5), vs. Patriots (9-2)

4. Houston Texans - 6-5 - Remaining Games: at Packers (4-6), at Colts (5-6), vs. Jaguars (2-9), vs. Bengals (3-7-1), at Titans (5-6)
5. Kansas City Chiefs - 8-3 - Remaining Games: at Falcons (7-4), vs. Raiders (9-2), vs. Titans (5-6), vs. Broncos (7-4), at Chargers (5-6)

In the hunt:

7. Denver Broncos - 7-4 - Remaining Games: at Jaguars (2-9), at Titans (5-6), vs. Patriots (9-2), at Chiefs (8-3), vs. Raiders (9-2)
8. Pittsburgh Steelers - 6-5 - Remaining Games: vs. Giants (8-3), at Bills (6-5), at Bengals (3-7-1), vs. Ravens (6-5), vs. Browns (0-12)
9. Buffalo Bills - 6-5 - Remaining Games: at Raiders (9-2), vs. Steelers (6-5), vs. Browns (0-12), vs. Dolphins (7-4), at Jets (3-8)
10. Tennessee Titans - 6-6 - Remaining Games: vs. Broncos (7-4), at Chiefs (8-3), at Jaguars (2-9), vs. Texans (6-5)
11. Indianapolis Colts - 5-6 - Remaining Games: at Jets (3-8), vs. Texans (6-5), at Vikings (6-5), at Raiders (9-2), vs. Jaguars (2-9)
12. San Diego Chargers - 5-6 - Remaining Games: vs. Buccaneers (6-5), at Panthers (4-7), vs. Raiders (9-2), at Browns (0-12), vs. Chiefs (8-3)