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

The Steelers face the Chiefs in Kansas City on Sunday. We break down what the game means for the NFL playoff picture.

A general view as fog envelops the field during the 2nd half of the game between the Los Angeles Charges and the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on January 03, 2021 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Result: The Chiefs crushed the Steelers and in doing so clinched the AFC West title. They are 11-4 and have the best record in the AFC through 16 weeks. The Steelers drop to 7-7-1 and are on the outside looking in at the wild card. The 8-7 Ravens hold the final wild card berth.

The Kansas City Chiefs host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday in an AFC matchup with significant playoff implications. The Chiefs are closing in on a playoff berth while the Steelers are battling just to stay in the playoff picture.

Kickoff is scheduled for 4:25 p.m. ET and the Chiefs are ten-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook. Kansas City had been as low as a 7.5-point favorite, but getting Tyreek Hill back from the COVID-19 list gave them a boost. Travis Kelce could also return, but the team won’t know his status until Sunday.

Steelers playoff picture

The Steelers are 7-6-1 and on the outside looking in on the playoffs, but they have a fighting chance with some upsets along the way. The Steelers are in third place in the AFC North, sitting approximately a half game back of the 8-6 Bengals and Ravens. With Cincinnati and Baltimore playing each other on Sunday, Pittsburgh has a chance to move past one of them.

Pittsburgh is currently ninth in the overall AFC standings. Along with the Bengals and Ravens, the Steelers are a half game back of the Colts, Chargers, and Bills in the wild card race.

Week 16 matchups relevant to Steelers

Packers 24, Browns 22
Colts 22, Cardinals 16
Ravens (8-6) @ Bengals (8-6)
Bills (8-6) @ Patriots (9-5)
Chargers (8-6) @ Texans (3-11)
Broncos (7-7) @ Raiders (7-7)
Dolphins (7-7) @ Saints (7-7)

Chiefs playoff picture

The Chiefs are 10-4 and have the best record in the AFC. They are a half game up on the AFC South-leading Titans, who won on Thursday Night Football, and a game up on the AFC East-leading Patriots. The Titans have the head-to-head tiebreaker advantage on KC and the Patriots would have the conference record tiebreaker.

Kansas City can clinch the AFC West on Sunday with a win and a Chargers loss or tie. They clinch a basic playoff berth with a win.

Week 16 matchups relevant to Chiefs

Titans 20, 49ers 17
Ravens (8-6) @ Bengals (8-6)
Chargers (8-6) @ Texans (3-11)
Bills (8-6) @ Patriots (9-5)