The NFL is a crap shoot, and when it comes to the AFC, nothing is a guaranteed as most teams head into Week 7 of the regular season.
Flashback to the lead up to Week 6, it seemed as if the AFC would be a battle for second place, everyone chasing the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs were a big red machine who seemed to steamroll anyone in their paths, then Week 6 happened. The Steelers went into Arrowhead Stadium, handing Kansas City their first loss of the season.
Still, one loss on the record for the Chiefs was still enough to keep them on their perch atop the AFC standings. However, after the Chiefs loss to the Raiders on Thursday Night Football, their 5-2 record makes things mighty interesting before the rest of the NFL plays in Week 7.
For the Steelers, after they experienced losses to the Bears and Jaguars, most thought the hope of a top seed in the AFC, making the road to Super Bowl 52 coming straight through Heinz Field, was out of the picture, but the pack has evened and the Steelers could claim the top spot in the conference with a win over the Bengals at Heinz Field this Sunday.
Check out the updated AFC Standings heading into Sunday/Monday action in Week 7:
Kansas City - 5-2
Pittsburgh - 4-2
New England - 4-2
Buffalo - 3-2
Miami - 3-2
Denver - 3-2
Tennessee - 3-3
Jacksonville - 3-3
Baltimore - 3-3
New York - 3-3
Houston - 3-3
Oakland - 3-4
Cincinnati - 2-3
Clearly, this is still a small victory when the season is still very young, but you would rather be in the front of the pack, rather than being in chase mode. Throw in how the Steelers’ second half of the season schedule is riddled with home games, five of their last eight at Heinz Field, there is plenty of hope for the black-and-gold.
Ultimately, this shows how anything is possible in the NFL, and when it comes to playoff seedings you never truly know what is going to happen on a week-to-week basis. For the Steelers, they have a huge opportunity in front of them Sunday. First, to really put some distance between themselves and the rest of the AFC North, but also to stake their claim as the top team in the AFC.
Yeah, Sunday’s game just got a little bit bigger...