The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC).
Bottom line: Forget about those playoff-picture graphics that aired on television this past weekend. The Steelers, unlike the Jets, control their chances. And even a loss to Denver leaves them with a plausible path to the playoffs. If the Steelers can beat Denver — in Pittsburgh, which helps — they will need only to beat the lowly Ravens and Browns to guarantee a wild-card spot.
Tiebreaker details: The first wild-card tiebreaker is head-to-head games, but the Steelers and Jets do not play each other this year. The second tiebreaker is intra-conference record, and the Jets are currently 6-4 against other A.F.C. teams while the Steelers are 5-4. But if both teams win their remaining games, they will end the season 8-4 against A.F.C. teams. The third tiebreaker — record against common opponents — would then come into play.