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NFL playoff picture: Who to root for in Week 18 if you are a Pittsburgh Steelers fan

Week 18 is here, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are still in the AFC playoff picture. Who should Steelers fans root for to help their chances?

Quarterback Kenny Pickett #8 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in action against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on January 1, 2023 in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Sunday update: The Jets-Dolphins game did not end in a tie, instead they won on a late field goal 9-6, eliminating the Steelers from the playoffs. The Bills beat the Patriots and the Steelers beat the Browns, but they needed Joe Flacco to put up more than 6 points.

In-game update: The Jets-Dolphins game is currently tied 6-6 with 6:31 left. If that game ends up being a tie, and the Steelers win and the Bills win, the Steelers would end up getting the last playoff spot.


Heading into Week 18, the Pittsburgh Steelers are still clinging to postseason hope. They are focused on a huge divisional matchup with the Cleveland Browns. With a win, they need only two other specific results to clinch the final spot in the AFC playoffs.

If you are a Steelers fan, you’ll have a few games you’ll be paying attention to as they look to improve their chances of a playoff berth.

Dolphins vs. Jets

Pittsburgh fans need the New York Jets to beat the Miami Dolphins in Week 18. The Jets have already been eliminated from playoff contention. The Dolphins also have injuries at the quarterback position, so seventh-round rookie Skylar Thompson could be the quarterback in this game. Thompson found himself as the quarterback when these teams met in Week 5, and the Jets won 40-17.

The Dolphins are 1-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook. Miami has -115 moneyline odds, with New York installed as the -105 narrow underdog.

Patriots vs. Bills

The Steelers need the Patriots to lose to have a shot at the final wild card berth. The Bills-Bengals game was canceled and adjustments were made to the playoff seeding with those two playing one fewer game than everybody else. The Bills have several roads to hosting the AFC Championship Game even if they are not the No. 1 seed. They’ll be playing to win, which benefits the Steelers.

The Bills are 7.5-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook. Buffalo has -315 moneyline odds while New England is a +260 underdog.