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Steelers Rise in AFC Playoff Picture after Win



Steelers RB Najee Harris C Mason Cole
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris and center Mason Cole celebrate a touchdown in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Dec. 23, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers got their win over the Cincinnati Bengals, but didn’t get any help, and moved up just one spot in the AFC playoff picture on Saturday as a result.

The Steelers entered the day with a 7-7 record as the No. 10 seed in the AFC. The Bengals, at 8-6, were in the tournament at No. 6.

With the Steelers beating the Bengals, Cincinnati has now dropped out of playoff position and behind the Steelers, but Pittsburgh moved up just one spot. The Steelers are now the No. 9 seed at 8-7.

The Steelers could have gotten some help from the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday night, but the Buffalo Bills kicked a go-ahead field goal with less than 30 seconds left to win it in L.A.


1 Baltimore Ravens 11-3
2 Miami Dolphins 10-4
3 Kansas City Chiefs 9-5
4 Jacksonville Jaguars 8-6
5 Cleveland Browns 9-5
6 Buffalo Bills 9-6 ⬆️3️⃣
7 Indianapolis Colts 8-6
8 Houston Texans 8-6
9 Pittsburgh Steelers 8-7 ⬆️1️⃣
10 Cincinnati Bengals 8-7 ⬇️4️⃣
11 Denver Broncos 7-7
12 Las Vegas Raiders 6-8
13 Los Angeles Chargers 5-10
14 Tennessee Titans 5-9
15 New York Jets 5-9
16 New England Patriots 3-11

The Steelers did climb ahead of the Bengals in the AFC North, and now can control their own destiny in terms of staying out last place. The Steelers have never finished last in the AFC North since the division was formed in 2002.


Overall AFC North AFC Head-to-head
Ravens 11-3 3-2 7-3 CIN 2-0, CLE 1-1, PIT 0-1
Browns 9-5 3-2 6-3 BAL 1-1, CIN 1-0, PIT 1-1
Steelers 8-7 4-1 6-5 BAL 1-0, CLE 1-1, CIN 2-0
Bengals 8-7 0-5 3-7 CLE 0-1, BAL 0-2, PIT 0-2

According to the New York Times, the Steelers now have a 9% chance to make the postseason, which is nearly double where they started the day. If the Steelers win each of their two remaining games, they will have an 80% chance to make the playoffs.