Obviously, the Steelers lead the AFC North by a game. It’s going to be really hard for the Steelers to not make the playoffs. Even if the Ravens sneak by them to take the AFC North division crown, the Steelers are a great bet to make it as a wild card team. One of the wild cards will likely be either the Jets or Patriots (who play on Monday Night Football tonight).
But the other? After the Patriots, Jets, Steelers and Ravens, the closest team in the AFC is the Chiefs, who appear very likely to be the AFC West division winner after beating the Broncos and after the Chargers’ loss to the Raiders. After that there’s the Jaguars, who lead the AFC South by a game after the Colts lost this week, but even the Jags are behind the Steelers by two games.
With games left on the schedule against the Bengals, Panthers and Browns, it would be a miracle if one of these 6-6 South and West teams like the Colts, Raiders or Chargers came back to grab a better seed than the Steelers. You can start planning for the Steelers to be in the playoffs now. The only question is whether they’ll get a first-week bye.