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.
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.
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.