The Pittsburgh Steelers enter Week 16 as the No. 6 seed in the AFC with an 8-6 record following their Sunday night home loss to the Buffalo Bills. With two weeks now remaining in the 2019 NFL regular season, the Steelers have a few different scenarios that will allow them to make the playoffs as the final Wild Card team. Below are those scenarios courtesy of media executive and NFL tiebreaker expert Joe Ferreira.
Scenario 1) The Steelers can make the playoffs as the No. 6 seed in the AFC by winning their final two regular season games against the New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens. The Steelers control their own destiny in this scenario. (Note: If the Ravens beat the Cleveland Browns in Week 16 they will have the No. 1 seed in the AFC locked up and thus won’t have anything to play for in Week 17 against the Steelers. If that’s the scenario that plays out, the Ravens will likely sit several key players such as quarterback Lamar Jackson.)
Scenario 2) The Steelers can make the playoffs as the No. 6 seed in the AFC by winning just one their final two regular season games against the Jets and Ravens as long as the Tennessee Titans lose to the Houston Texans in Week 17. (Note: The Texans can win the AFC South Saturday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a win and if they do, hopefully they will still have something to play for seeding-wise in Week 17 against the Titans. The Titans Week 16 game against the New Orleans Saints only becomes meaningful to the Steelers should Pittsburgh lose their next two games.
Scenario 3) Should the Steelers lose both of their remaining games, they still can capture the No. 6 seed in the AFC should the Titans lose out to the Saints and Texans, the Indianapolis Colts win out against the Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars, the Browns lose just one of their two final games against either the Ravens or the Cincinnati Bengals and the Oakland Raiders lose just one their two final games against either the Los Angeles Chargers or the Denver Broncos.
Scenario 4) Also should the Steelers lose both of their remaining games, they still can capture the No. 6 seed in the AFC should the Titans lose out to the Saints and Texans, the Colts win out against the Panthers and Jaguars, the Browns lose one of their two final games against either the Ravens or the Bengals and Pittsburgh at least ties the Raiders in overall strength of victory. (Note: The Steelers current SOV is .308 (34 wins) while the Raiders SOV entering Week 16 is .327 (27 wins).
Here’s to hoping that the Steelers take the route of scenario No. 1 the next two weeks.