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Who Will Steelers Play if They Sneak into Playoffs?



The Pittsburgh Steelers have one path remaining to the NFL postseason with one week to go.

The Steelers need to beat the Baltimore Ravens, have the Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Indianapolis Colts, and avoid a tie between the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders.

But if that all goes right for the Steelers in Week 18, who will they face in the playoffs?

The Steelers can only qualify as the No. 7 and final seed in the AFC, so they will play the No. 2 seed on the road in the first round if they make it in.

Who will that be? It’s still anybody’s guess. Currently, it’s the Kansas City Chiefs, who are 11-5 but lose the tiebreaker to the Tennessee Titans.

Either of those teams could drop into second place with a loss. The Titans will visit the lowly Texans on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Chiefs are at Denver on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Neither Houston nor the Broncos have anything to play for in those games.

But an 11-6 Kansas City or Tennessee squad could also get passed from behind. The New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals all sit at 10-6 entering the final week and are all in contention for the No. 2 seed, should Tennessee and/or Kansas City slip up.

The Bengals will travel to Cleveland for Sunday at 1 p.m. Both Baker Mayfield and Joe Burrow are expected to skip that game, with the Browns eliminated and Burrow banged up.

On Sunday at 4:25 p.m., the Pats are at Miami, with the Dolphins having already been eliminated. The Bills will host the divisional doormats, the New York Jets.

In any two-way tie, the Bengals, Bills and Titans all have head-to-head tiebreakers over the Chiefs. The Patriots have beaten the Titans. Tennessee beat Buffalo.

The Patriots and Bengals are currently tied for best conference record at 8-3, which is the second tiebreaker in a two-way tie.

So if the Chiefs and Titans win on Sunday, the No. 7 seed goes to Kansas City. If either or both teams slip up, scenarios exist where the Steelers or whoever else take the final spot could visit Buffalo, Cincinnati or New England, as well.

But with both Kansas City and Tennessee double-digit favorites, the most likely outcome is that the last seed in the AFC will play in Arrowhead Stadium on Wild Card Weekend.

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