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NFL Playoff Picture: Ravens Win Causes Steelers Discomfort

Here's a quick look at some AFC scores that are relevant as the Steelers wait to see how the NFL playoff picture will shape up. To no one's surprise, the Patriots crushed the Bills, 34-3, clinching the best record in the AFC. The Ravens, unfortunately, beat the Browns, which means that the Steelers will have to play hard against the Browns next week to win a first-round bye in the playoffs and also increases the likelihood that they will have to play the Ravens at some point. The Jets' 38-34 loss to the Bears today also increases this likelihood.

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The Chiefs just beat the Titans, increasing their lead over the rest of the AFC West. The Jaguars, meanwhile, just lost in overtime against the Redskins, whose defense played very well. Jacksonville's loss opens the door for the Colts to win the AFC South, which is too bad, because the Colts are more dangerous than the Jaguars are. So here's how the playoff seeds would shape up as of right now:

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1. Patriots 13-2

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2. Steelers 11-4

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3. Chiefs 10-5

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4. Colts 8-6

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5. Ravens 11-4

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6. Jets 10-5

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If things ended up like this, Steelers fans would want to root for the Chiefs against the Jets in the Wild Card round so that they could face Kansas City instead of Baltimore (or Indianapolis, which isn't quite as tough but still would be a more difficult matchup than the Chiefs) in the divisional round. Their three possible divisional round opponents would be the Chiefs, Colts and Ravens.

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UPDATE: Here's a new post on the AFC playoff picture that's updated for the late games.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.