AFC Wild Card Scenerio Shaping Up To Be 3 Team Race With 5 Weeks Remaining

The Pittsburgh Steelers certainly didn\’t help themselves out Sunday by losing 20-14 to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, but they still remain very much alive in the AFC Playoff race when you look at the scenarios.

Loses by New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, and the San Diego Chargers in Week 12 all but killed those teams chances of making the playoffs as each now has 7 losses with 5 games remaining in the season. While not guaranteed, it is highly unlikely that any of the four run the table to finish 9-7.

Wins by the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, and the Miami Dolphins in Week 12 now means that there are four teams battling for two Wild Card spots in the AFC with 5 weeks remaining, when you include the 6-5 Steelers.

The Dolphins can only really afford one more loss the rest of the way, but their schedule includes two games against the New England Patriots and one against the San Francisco 49ers.

The Bengals are indeed playing really well right now but their remaining schedule includes games against the Chargers, Steelers, Dallas Cowboys, and the Baltimore Ravens, and the odds of them running the table are very low. Not impossible mind you, just low.

That leaves the Colts, who are also playing inspired football right now and currently have a one game lead over both the Steelers and the Bengals heading into Week 13.They still have two games remaining against the Houston Texans in addition to having to play the Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs, and the Titans.

The Steelers of course do not have an easy path considering their beat up roster at the moment and it doesn\’t help that they have to play the Ravens next week in Baltimore. After that they face the Chargers, Cowboys, Bengals, and the Browns to end the regular season. Assuming they lose to the Ravens next week, they would likely need to win 3 of their remaining 5 games with one of those wins being over the Bengals at Heinz Field in Week 16.

So much can happen over the next few weeks and the Steelers need to get quarterback Ben Roethlisberger back as soon as possible in order to make this happen. Their defense is playing more than well enough to run the table, but they cant do it all by themselves.

Colts (7-4) Remaining Schedule
WkDateGameStadiumTime (ET)
13Dec 02IND @ DETFord Field1:00 PM
14Dec 09TEN @ INDLucas Oil Stadium1:00 PM
15Dec 16IND @ HOUReliant Stadium1:00 PM
16Dec 23IND @ KCArrowhead Stadium1:00 PM
17Dec 30HOU @ INDLucas Oil Stadium1:00 PM
Steelers (6-5) Remaining Schedule
WkDateGameStadiumTime (ET)
13Dec 02PIT @ BALM&T Bank Stadium4:25 PM
14Dec 09SD @ PITHeinz Field1:00 PM
15Dec 16PIT @ DALCowboys Stadium4:25 PM
16Dec 23CIN @ PITHeinz Field1:00 PM
17Dec 30CLE @ PITHeinz Field1:00 PM
Bengals (6-5) Remaining Schedule
WkDateGameStadiumTime (ET)
13Dec 02CIN @ SDQualcomm Stadium4:25 PM
14Dec 09DAL @ CINPaul Brown Stadium1:00 PM
15Dec 13CIN @ PHILincoln Financial Field8:20 PM
16Dec 23CIN @ PITHeinz Field1:00 PM
17Dec 30BAL @ CINPaul Brown Stadium1:00 PM
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