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NFL playoff picture: What does Titans-Steelers mean for AFC standings

The Titans face the Steelers in Pittsburgh on Sunday. We break down what the game means for the NFL playoff picture.

A general view of Heinz Field during the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals on September 26, 2021 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Result: The Steelers made a key stop and held on to beat the Titans 19-13. Pittsburgh improved to 7-6-1 with the win while Tennessee dropped to 9-5. The Steelers remain in 11th place but will move ahead of the losing team in Broncos-Bengals. The Titans drop to only a game up on the Colts, but they have the head-to-head tiebreaker with the season sweep of Indianapolis.

The Pittsburgh Steelers host the Tennessee Titans in Week 15 in a matchup of two teams with decidedly different goals at the moment. The Steelers are just battling to remain in the playoff picture while the Titans have a realistic shot at the No. 1 overall pick.

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET on Sunday. The Titans are a one-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Titans playoff picture

Current AFC standings

The Titans have stumbled since losing Derrick Henry to injury, but they built enough of a lead in the AFC South that they are in a strong position to finish the job. The team opened the season 6-2 and then lost Henry to injury. They won their next two but then lost two straight before coming out of their bye and beating the Jaguars. They are 9-4 and hold a one and a half game lead on the Colts. The Colts beat the Patriots on Saturday to block Tennessee from clinching on Sunday.

Tennessee is currently in second place in the overall AFC standings, a half game back of Kansas City and a half game up on New England. The Patriots hold the tiebreaker edge based on conference record if they end up even.

Relevant Week 15 schedule

Chiefs 34, Chargers 28
Colts 27, Patriots 17
Packers (10-3) @ Ravens (8-5)

Steelers playoff picture

Current AFC standings

The Steelers currently sit in last place in the AFC North, but with a 6-6-1 record they are firmly in the playoff chase. Pittsburgh was 5-3 at one point, but has gone 1-3-1 over its past five games to slip. They are a shade under two games back of first place in the division.

The wild card race is indeed wild. The Steelers are currently in 11th place. There are four teams a half game up on them at 7-6. The Chargers and Bills hold the final two wild card spots and then the Browns, Bengals, and Broncos follow just ahead of Pittsburgh.

Relevant Week 15 schedule

Chiefs 34, Chargers 28
Colts 27, Patriots 17
Panthers (5-8) @ Bills (7-6)
Jets (3-10) @ Dolphins (6-7)
Bengals (7-6) @ Broncos (7-6)
Packers (10-3) @ Ravens (8-5)
Raiders (6-7) @ Browns (7-6)