The Pittsburgh Steelers are in a favorable position heading into their Week 16 match-up against the Baltimore Ravens. At present, Pittsburgh can finish as the 3 seed, the 4 seed, the 5 seed, or the 6 seed in the AFC playoffs. There are some scenarios where Pittsburgh don't make the playoffs however scheduling certainly helps the Steelers out.

Pittsburgh play on December 25th

Firstly, Pittsburgh host the Ravens on Christmas. If the Steelers win that game then they will clinch the AFC North and there will be no scenario where they are anything but a three seed in the AFC playoffs. That in turn would make them hosts during Wild Card Weekend and perhaps they may even host the conference final if the stars align that way.

If the Ravens defeat Pittsburgh then it will be a major setback for the Steelers, however it won't be a catastrophe. The Steelers' fans would then want the Broncos to defeat the Chiefs to improve Pittsburgh's Wild Card complexion. After that, the Steelers' fans would be looking forward to Week 17.

But let's presume that KC beat Denver on Sunday, a result that is the more likely. In Week 17 the Steelers will face the 1-14 Cleveland Browns and they will need to win while hoping that the Cincinnati Bengals defeat the Ravens. Surely Pittsburgh can be counted on to beat the Browns, however the Steelers do not want to be in a position where they have to depend on the Cincinnati Bengals to win a game.

The simplest thing that the Steelers can do is just defeat Baltimore and take all of the permutations out of the mix.

Pittsburgh not likely to fit into Wild Card picture

It is very hard for Pittsburgh to fit into the Wild Card picture at this point. If both the Ravens and Broncos win on Christmas Day then it becomes much more probable, however even then scenarios where Pitt enter the Wild Card are improbable.

However, the following sequence of events is one way it would happen:

  • the Ravens beat the Steelers in Week 16
  • the Broncos beat the Chiefs in Week 16
  • the Ravens beat the Bengals in Week 17
  • the Miami Dolphins beat the New England Patriots in Week 17
  • the Steelers beat the Browns in Week 17

There truly is a range of possibilities for Pittsburgh with a three seed the one that they have to be gunning for.

Game time on Christmas Day for Pittsburgh is at 4:30pm ET.

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