AFC playoff picture: Steelers stay on top

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It took a rally from 13 points down in the fourth quarter on an injury-filled night in Cincinnati, but the Steelers wound up with another win that keeps them in the No. 1 spot in the AFC playoff picture for another week.

The picture at the top will get more definitive when the Patriots and Steelers square off in Week 15 and there’s a similar reckoning to come in the AFC West. That one could wind up being more difficult with three teams involved, but there are enough games left between the Chiefs, Raiders and Chargers that it is too soon to jump to any conclusions.

In the AFC South, meanwhile, the Titans and Jaguars remain on track for a Week 17 game that will decide who gets to host a game in the Wild Card round.

LEADERS
1. Steelers (10-2): They have to deal with the surging Ravens before it’s time for the fireworks against the Patriots.

2. Patriots (10-2): Another division crown can be clinched with a win against the Dolphins or a Bills loss.

3. Titans (8-4): Winning both games on a two-game road swing through the NFC West will ensure they’ll at least play for the AFC South in Week 17.

4. Chiefs (6-6): Their fade continues, but they’d win the tiebreakers in the division as of now.

5. Jaguars (8-4): A visit from the Seahawks provides a good test as the Jaguars try to clinch a winning season.

6. Ravens (7-5): Sunday’s win was their third in a row and featured their best offensive performance to date.

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
7. Chargers (6-6): They’ll be in Kansas City in Week 15 for a crucial matchup.

8. Bills (6-6): Nathan Peterman may be back in the saddle after Tyrod Taylor‘s knee injury.

9. Raiders (6-6): They can knock the Chiefs out of first place this week.

10. Jets (5-7): More wins than many expected, but still short of the postseason.

11. Dolphins (5-7): They snapped their losing streak just in time to face the Patriots.

12. Bengals (5-7): With the playoffs falling out of the picture, will this be Marvin Lewis’ swan song?

13. Texans (4-8): Houston will have to settle for a World Series champion.

14. Colts (3-9): They can hand the Patriots the AFC East by beating the Bills, which may be reason to tank this week.

15. Broncos (3-9): Eight straight losses and counting in Denver.

16. Browns (0-12): Josh Gordon looked good in his return, but the Browns still look like the Browns overall.

50 responses to “AFC playoff picture: Steelers stay on top

  1. Last night’s game was physically brutal even to watch. Now we get Baltimore next week? We’re not going to have anyone healthy for the Pats. Not that it would have mattered anyway, we’re not disciplined enough to beat a Belichik coached team

  2. The millenials over at the NFL sub disagree but just look at this list…. This is a season of mediocrity and some of the worst football I’ve ever seen. So many average to awful teams. The AFC is an absolute joke. The Steelers may be 10-2 but they’d get stomped by most good teams from seasons past. The NFC isn’t much better. I don’t think there’s a chance the Pats don’t repeat barring something crazy happening. And it pains me to say that.
    From coaching, the quality of play, to refs, to injuries to protests….its been a horrible season for the NFL and fans.

  3. .
    It’s an oddity in the AFC whereas, the Patriots seem to struggle vs the Ravens and Chiefs, but have had better luck against the Steelers. Pittsburgh has Baltimore and KCs number, but would not want to see Phillip Rivers and the Chargers.

    The Titans and Jaguars are mystery guests. There’s no playoff track record to judge them by.
    .

  4. You got the Steelers and the Patriots…. then there’s 50 feet of crap… then there’s everyone else.
    —- Billy Beane

    🙂

  5. With the Steelers’ tough schedule for the next two games, a loss last night would’ve made it possible for the Titans and Jaguars to steal the first round bye over the next few weeks with their easier schedules. But the Bengals choked…

  6. LOL at the Chiefs. When they were 5-0, I wondered whether they would lose a game this year. Analysts wondered whether the Patriots (2-2) had run out of time to catch the Chiefs in pursuit of home field. When the Chiefs fell to 6-3, analysts commented that the Chiefs had the easiest post-bye schedule. They haven’t won since.

  7. Steelers ontop only according to the Media and likes of ESPN. There is nothing to say whatsoever THat New England is NOT ahead of them. The reighning world champs who won the last 3 games against them.

    Let the media types pump this game all they want. Pats fans understand its another day at the office and were on our way to Minnesota.

  8. guitarkevin says:
    December 5, 2017 at 8:18 am
    The Steelers are looking vulnerable…
    ———————————-
    Yep, overcoming a 17 pt deficient on the road and winning the game sure makes a team look vulnerable. (Or maybe that is just wishful thinking on your part)

  9. Patriots in Miami and Steelers vs Ravens? Neither of those games are gimmes. Lots of intrigue over the next couple of weeks.

  10. the AFC West is interesting. Chiefs, Chargers and Raiders tied at 6-6, and they all play each other. If they all split, winning one and losing one, and then lose all of their other games, they’d all be 7-9. And if the Broncos were to win out (I know, that’s a stretch) they’d also be 7-9.

    Left to play:

    Chiefs- Raiders, Chargers, Dolphins, & Broncos
    Chargers – Skins, Chiefs, Jets, & Raiders
    Raiders – Chiefs, Cowboys, Eagles, & Chargers
    Broncos – Jets, Colts, Skins, & Chiefs

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

  11. mzew233 says:
    December 5, 2017 at 9:16 am

    Let the media types pump this game all they want. Pats fans understand its another day at the office and were on our way to Minnesota.

    ——-

    Longtime Pats fan here….I don’t know if you’re a Pats troll or a Pats fan, but it makes me cringe when real Pats fans post stuff like this.

    Sure, we’re a confident fan base. We expect our team to win and we see it operating like a machine, which boosts our confidence. But anything can happen.

    I sometimes wonder the age of people that make these types of comments. I know my kids (late 20s and early 30s) have seen pretty much nothing except great Patriots teams. They don’t know the losing we went through.

    It’s comments like this though that label us as “the worst fan base”.

  12. Anyone thinking Pitt is better than NE is a complete moron at this point. Do people watch Pitt and NE play?

    NE is dismantling teams and still leaving points on the field!

    NE’s D, O, STs and coaching is superior.

  13. 345snarkavenue says:
    December 5, 2017 at 9:31 am
    the AFC West is interesting. Chiefs, Chargers and Raiders tied at 6-6, and they all play each other. If they all split, winning one and losing one, and then lose all of their other games, they’d all be 7-9. And if the Broncos were to win out (I know, that’s a stretch) they’d also be 7-9.

    Left to play:

    Chiefs- Raiders, Chargers, Dolphins, & Broncos
    Chargers – Skins, Chiefs, Jets, & Raiders
    Raiders – Chiefs, Cowboys, Eagles, & Chargers
    Broncos – Jets, Colts, Skins, & Chiefs

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

    0 0 Rate This

    ————————

    Except you cut off what else he/she said. He/she is right. I don’t get why trolls and Pats Haters do this to themselves. The calendar year changes, NE has tweaked who they are, 2-3 steps ahead of any other “contender”, play better as the year goes, while other teams who are pretty much middling teams in a GOD AWFUL league right now, product-wise, only appear to be on their level, yet the media is still brainwashed by loving every other trendy AFC team because they’re sick of complimenting the Pats after SB wins.

    There is not one legit fan out there that can sell anyone with even a remote clue about this league, that Pitt is superior to NE in ANY capacity.

  14. Bill Bixby says:
    December 5, 2017 at 7:38 am
    The millenials over at the NFL sub disagree but just look at this list…. This is a season of mediocrity and some of the worst football I’ve ever seen. So many average to awful teams. The AFC is an absolute joke. The Steelers may be 10-2 but they’d get stomped by most good teams from seasons past. The NFC isn’t much better. I don’t think there’s a chance the Pats don’t repeat barring something crazy happening. And it pains me to say that.
    From coaching, the quality of play, to refs, to injuries to protests….its been a horrible season for the NFL and fans.

    6 1 Rate This

    ———————–

    Exactly.

  15. jjackwagon says:

    December 5, 2017 at 9:20 am

    guitarkevin says:
    December 5, 2017 at 8:18 am
    The Steelers are looking vulnerable…
    ———————————-
    Yep, overcoming a 17 pt deficient on the road and winning the game sure makes a team look vulnerable. (Or maybe that is just wishful thinking on your part)

    ——————————————————————————–

    Let’s take a look at the Steelers last 5 games.

    Barely beat the Lions
    Barely beat the Colts
    Handedly beat the Titans
    Barely beat the Packers
    Barely beat the Bengals

    Yup, I’d say the STEELERS are VULNERABLE.

  16. The truth is NE beat the Steelers in the regular season with no Big Ben last year and NE had home field advantage in the playoffs with no leveon bell. NE has yet to beat THIS CURRENT Steeler team when their healthy and at home.

  17. Right now the Steelers best bet is to put Juju on Defense and order a code Red.

    The Steelers best hope of a superbowl run is Baltimore going to New England and hope they play the pats as well as they have in the past.

    Steelers can beat 30/31 teams but the Pats own them. Roethlisberger has only beat Brady twice, in 04 and 11 and lost definitely in the playoffs twice.

  18. Let’s take a look at the Steelers last 5 games.

    Barely beat the Lions
    Barely beat the Colts
    Handedly beat the Titans
    Barely beat the Packers
    Barely beat the Bengals

    Yup, I’d say the STEELERS are VULNERABLE.

    1 0 Rate This

    —————————

    And they struggled with awful Tenn for 3.5 qtrs. At home. I watched that game just because I was curious why people are raving about the Steelers.

    Playing down to the compeitition is a sign of a bad and arrogant team, technically.

  19. tylawspick6 says:
    December 5, 2017 at 9:45 am

    Except you cut off what else he/she said.

    ———-

    that’s irrelevant. he/she was stating the Pats would be in a game 2 months from now that there is no guaranty they’ll be in. that’s what I was commenting about. anything can happen between now and then.

    to bypass whatever could happen in the 6 other games it takes to get to Minnesota is sheer arrogance. and THAT is what gives Pats fans a bad name.

    My point stands as originally made.

  20. There is not one legit fan out there that can sell anyone with even a remote clue about this league, that Pitt is superior to NE in ANY capacity.

    —-

    The Patriots are a better football team and Trippy McTripster is a inferior NFL head coach to Bill Belichick. Facts.

    BUT… the game in Pit is their 3rd straight road game, on a short week. If they still manage to blow the doors off the Steelers… then that tells the world a lot about them. In other words… get the duck boats ready and get the other hand ready cause it’s going to start filling up with gold.

    🙂

  21. Playing down to the compeitition is a sign of a bad and arrogant team, technically.
    —-
    Nah. It is a sign of an awful NFL head coach though. 🙂

  22. steelcurtainn says:
    December 5, 2017 at 9:56 am
    The truth is NE beat the Steelers in the regular season with no Big Ben last year and NE had home field advantage in the playoffs with no leveon bell. NE has yet to beat THIS CURRENT Steeler team when their healthy and at home.

    And the Patriots didn’t have Gronk in either game. And the Steelers may be without Shazier.

    Look, we all know anything can happen but the Steelers style of defense is a bad matchup for them when the play NE. You can’t play that zone blitz scheme, Brady picks it apart. And if they want to try and play man, good like with that. Teams have tried.

  23. wib22 says:
    December 5, 2017 at 10:11 am
    I am much more confident in the ravens beating the patriots come playoff time than the steelers.

    This is 2017 not 2012. 🙂 The Ravens have no shot.

  24. It’s getting very hard to objectively evaluate the Steelers.

    On one hand, they’ve looked seriously weak and vulnerable against some very unimpressive competition.

    On the other hand, they’re starting to remind me of Brady and the Patriots:

    “Oh, golly. Are we losing badly deep into the second half? I guess we’d better start playing, then. Bing-bang-done. Yawn. Can we go home now?”

  25. As a Charger fan I see them going 8 – 8 this year. Do you know what happens to Charger coaches that go 8 – 8 ? They get three-year contract extensions

  26. steelcurtainn says:
    December 5, 2017 at 9:56 am
    The truth is NE beat the Steelers in the regular season with no Big Ben last year and NE had home field advantage in the playoffs with no leveon bell. NE has yet to beat THIS CURRENT Steeler team when their healthy and at home.

    ————
    The Steelers had Leveon Bell….but after getting smacked in the mouth a few times Bell decided he had enough and went to wait for the inevitable on the bench. Heck, the Pats beat the Steelers so hard that Ben was planning to retire.

    As long as BB is facing Mike Tomlin, I’ll go with BB. Swap rosters, and I’m still going with BB.

  27. The Ravens are heating up right now and as Skip Bayless says… we are the “KRYPTONITE” for the Pats and Steelers.

  28. guitarkevin says:
    December 5, 2017 at 11:13 am
    The Ravens are heating up right now and as Skip Bayless says… we are the “KRYPTONITE” for the Pats and Steelers

    The Patriots are 9–3 vs the Ravens since 2001
    Not exactly “kryptonite”

  29. I suggest the Patriots take a mini bye week as 1st place will be determined in Pittsburg regardless of
    a win or loss in Miami. Rest the starters for MNF…. just like they do in basketball. lol

  30. Ravens, Chargers, and possibly Jags have a better shot against the Patriots. Steelers have no chance, Tomlin will fall for the same trap he always does, and this must pain Steeler fans.

  31. The Chargers showed Cleveland they don’t play well at “home.” This is because they have only a trickle of fans at “home.” For this reason they play better away from “home” because they have no “home” at so-called “home” games. Thus, if they make the playoffs, they’ll certainly be away from “home” games which works as they have no “home” anyway. Makes sense?

  32. wib22 says:
    December 5, 2017 at 11:01 am
    This is 2017 not 2012. 🙂 The Ravens have no shot.
    ****

    Even with the defense being really good?
    ——
    Is it? Or are they a product of a very easy schedule? They’ve allowed 44, 26 and 24 points to Jax, Pit and Minn. As I can tell they have beaten ZERO teams over .500.

    And their offense stinks. They are not winning a playoff game in NE. I doubt they even make it that far.

  33. The Patriots are 9–3 vs the Ravens since 2001
    Not exactly “kryptonite”

    ****

    Not being a hater, but 2-2 in the playoffs vs the ravens.

  34. mzew233 says:
    December 5, 2017 at 9:16 am
    Steelers ontop only according to the Media and likes of ESPN. There is nothing to say whatsoever THat New England is NOT ahead of them. The reighning world champs who won the last 3 games against them.

    Let the media types pump this game all they want. Pats fans understand its another day at the office and were on our way to Minnesota.
    ————————————

    I usually have much respect for Patriots fans and their football knowledge, but is this guy dumber than a rock (or a troll).

    The rankings are based on a strict formula, and at the present time, the Steelers are on top based on strength of victory (.467 to the Patriots’ .458).

    Sure, everything will work itself out, at least by the game on 12/17, and the Patriots could very well end up on top of the rankings at the end of the year, but for this guy to say that “the Steelers are on top only according to the Media and the likes of ESPN” shows a dearth of football IQ.

  35. wib22 says:
    December 5, 2017 at 11:56 am
    The Patriots are 9–3 vs the Ravens since 2001
    Not exactly “kryptonite”

    ****

    Not being a hater, but 2-2 in the playoffs vs the ravens.
    —-
    This Patriot team is far superior to the teams that put up the 2 on the right side. 🙂

  36. 345snarkavenue says:
    December 5, 2017 at 9:31 am
    the AFC West is interesting. Chiefs, Chargers and Raiders tied at 6-6, and they all play each other. If they all split, winning one and losing one, and then lose all of their other games, they’d all be 7-9. And if the Broncos were to win out (I know, that’s a stretch) they’d also be 7-9.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – —

    “if”

  37. 6ball says:

    December 5, 2017 at 8:00 am

    Pittsburgh has Baltimore and KCs number

    Really? Because the last time I looked, the series between the Ravens and Steelers was only 26-21 Steelers and the Ravens had won 3 of the last 4 before their first matchup this season. The Ravens swept the Steelers in ’15, 2 of their only 5 wins that year so remind me of how they “have their number” again?

  38. “14. Colts (3-9): They can hand the Patriots the AFC East by beating the Bills, which may be reason to tank this week.”

    Wouldn’t tanking violate the integrity of the game? I thought only the Patriots would be capable of doing something like that.
    Whoops, I forgot that’s how the Colts lined themselves up to draft Andrew Luck.

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