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AFC Playoff Picture: Week 17 schedule makes for some serious scoreboard watching for the Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers have locked up a first round bye, and it will make Week 17 quite interesting.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Houston Texans Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Houston Texans 34-6 on Christmas Day, and, thanks to a Jacksonville Jaguars loss, locked up a first round bye in the AFC Playoffs. They won’t be any worse than the No. 2 seed, but there is still a chance the Steelers claim the top spot in the AFC in Week 17.

If the Patriots lose to the Jets, and the Steelers beat the Browns, the road to Super Bowl 52 will be coming through Pittsburgh, and not Foxboro.

Unlikely, but as Jim Carrey said in Dumb and Dumber, “So, you’re saying there’s a chance!”

Before we go any further, time to update the Playoff Picture heading into Week 17.

AFC Playoff Picture

1. New England Patriots - 12-3 - Remaining Game: at Jets
2. Pittsburgh Steelers - 12-3 - Remaining Game: vs. Browns
3. Jacksonville Jaguars - 10-5 - Remaining Game: at Titans
4. Kansas City Chiefs - 9-6 - Remaining Game: at Broncos
5. Baltimore Ravens - 9-6 - Remaining Game: vs. Bengals
6. Tennessee Titans - 8-7 - Remaining Game: vs. Jaguars
7. Los Angeles Chargers - 8-7 - Remaining Game: vs. Raiders
8. Buffalo Bills - 8-7 - Remaining Game: at Dolphins

What is truly unique about Week 17 is how the NFL has decided to NOT have a Sunday Night Football game, stating they wanted to be “fair” to all teams vying for a playoff spot and/or positioning.

Check out the full statement/schedule below:

The Steelers and Patriots will both be playing at 1:00 p.m. ET in Week 17, and the Steelers should be watching the scoreboard closely. For those who think the Steelers should just scrap the game and start Landry Jones, there is still something to play for; however, if the Steelers see New England up big early, it would smart to pull the starters and let the backups carry the load the rest of the way. If the Patriots game is close, then let Ben Roethlisberger and company try to do their part in attempting to get home-field advantage.

Either way, the Steelers, and their global fan base, will be watching closely as the teams jockey for positioning entering the final week of the 2017 regular season.