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NFL playoff picture: Who to root for in Week 16 if you are a Pittsburgh Steelers fan

Week 16 is here and the Pittsburgh Steelers are struggling in their attempts to reach the 2024 NFL Playoffs. Who should Steelers fans root for to help their chances?

Mason Rudolph #2 of the Pittsburgh Steelers drops back to pass during the first quarter of a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on August 16, 2018 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers find themselves in a difficult position coming out of Week 15. They entered the weekend sitting in sixth place and in control of their playoff fate. A 30-13 thumping at the hands of the Colts on Saturday dropped them out of the wild card berths and needing help to make the playoffs.

The Steelers head into Week 16 with a 7-7 record. They are in tenth place in a tie with the Broncos. They have the conference record tiebreaker for now, but are now a game back of the Bengals, Colts, Texans, Bills, and Jaguars across the playoff landscape.

Pittsburgh has a huge opportunity in Week 16. They host the Bengals and a win would secure a season sweep and the head-to-head tiebreaker. It might even be enough to move them back into the playoff standings depending on how teams around the Bengals finish up this weekend. Steelers fans have plenty to root for around the AFC in Week 16.

Result: Steelers beat the Bengals 34-11 to go 8-7, while the Bengals also go to 8-7. This was a huge win for the Steelers chances, but they still need plenty of help, along with winning out, for them to make the playoffs.

Browns vs. Texans

Result: The Browns beat the Texans 36-22 on a day where Amari Cooper broke the Browns receiving yards in a game record. This helps the Steelers, as they now have the same record as the Texans, but did lose their head-to-head matchup and the tiebreaker in the process. They will need the Texans to lose next week to the Titans and the Colts to lose to the Raiders for a chance at the playoffs still.

The Steelers benefit from either team losing this game, but Pittsburgh fans should be rooting for Cleveland to win. The Steelers are two games back of the Browns and don’t get a head-to-head matchup the rest of the way after splitting the season series. The Steelers lost to the Texans and Colts, so if they’re going to get ahead of either of them, they need them to pick up two losses the rest of the season.

Houston is a 2.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Colts vs. Falcons

Result: The Colts lost to the Falcons 29-10. This was much needed for the Steelers chances. The Steelers now need the Colts to lose to the Raiders and Texans to lost to the Titans next week for a chance at the playoffs.

It’s the same as above. The Steelers lost to the Colts last week, which means they now sit a game back and also need to overcome the head-to-head tiebreaker. Colts losses help the Steelers.

Indianapolis is a two-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Bills vs. Chargers

Result: Buffalo beat the Chargers 24-22 on Saturday night.

The Bills are a game up on the Steelers, but if Buffalo loses and Pittsburgh wins, the Steelers would move ahead based on the conference record tiebreaker.

Jaguars vs. Buccaneers

Result: The Buccaneers beat the Jaguars 30-12.

The Steelers were swept by the top three teams in the AFC South. They need a pair of Jaguars losses if Jacksonville drops out of first place in the division.

The Bucs are 2.5-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook, but that will move pending Trevor Lawrence’s game-day status.