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NFL Playoff Picture: Bengals Win Sixth Seed Despite Loss; Steelers Fifth

The Steelers’ game against the Browns isn’t yet over – they lead 13-9 with two minutes left to play – but the Bengals couldn’t pull out a victory against the Baltimore Ravens, losing 24-16, so the Steelers will take the fifth seed in the playoffs and face off against the AFC West champs. It doesn’t matter whether they beat the Browns (as appears likely) or not.

Despite the loss, the Bengals have clinched the sixth seed in the AFC because the Jets and Broncos both lost. That means the only playoff seed yet to be determined is the AFC West champ, which will hinge on the outcome of the game between the Raiders and Chargers. We’ll have more on that shortly.

The seeds are as follows.

1. New England Patriots
2. Baltimore Ravens

3. Houston Texans vs. 6. Cincinnati Bengals
4. AFC West champs vs. 5. Pittsburgh Steelers

SB Nation has a blog for every team.

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