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If the Steelers make the playoffs, who might they play in the AFC Wild Card Round?

We take a look at how the Steelers can get into the playoffs and who they might play in the Wild Card Round if they do

Mason Rudolph #2 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on from the sidelines during a preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks at Acrisure Stadium on August 13, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers have had a rollercoaster ride in the race for the playoffs this season. Losses to the 2-win Patriots and Cardinals looked as if they were doomed to Mike Tomlin’s first losing record. But, an injury to starting QB Kenny Pickett and the promotion of third-string QB Mason Rudolph have turned things around, as Pittsburgh has won their last two games against the Bengals and Seahawks and now have a relatively decent chance of sneaking into the playoffs.

Of course, the Steelers are in no way locked into a playoff spot and will most-likely need to beat the Ravens, who could be resting starters with nothing to play for, and have the Dolphins beat the Bills or the Titans beat the Jaguars. There are other possibilities, but that would be their most-likely way they get in.

So, if they can beat the resting Ravens and get help from the Dolphins or Titans, they’re in. If they do get in, they can finish with the 6th or 7th seed and could face three different teams. We’ll take a look at those teams below.

Update — The Titans beat the Jaguars and the Steelers have clinched a playoff spot. So the Steelers will face either the Bills or Chiefs in the first round of the postseason.

Most likely Wild Card Round opponent

Buffalo Bills (11-6, 2nd seed) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-7, 7th seed)

If the Bills beat the Dolphins, the Steelers will need to win as usual, but then will need the Titans to beat the Jaguars. If that happens, the Bills would win the AFC East and host the Steelers.

Kansas City Chiefs (10-7, 3rd seed) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-7, 6th seed)

In the event that the Steelers win and both the Jaguars and Bills lose, Pittsburgh would move up to the 6th seed and head to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs.

How the Steelers can get into the playoffs with a loss to the Ravens

If the Steelers lose to the Ravens, they can still get in if the Broncos beat the Raiders and one of the Titans or Dolphins win. They would be in the same boat as the above scenarios, just with a 9-8 record.

Week 18 timing

Since the Steelers play on Saturday, fans will know if they need the Broncos to beat the Raiders in their Sunday 4:25 PM EST game.

If the Steelers win on Saturday, they could get into the playoffs before the Sunday Night Football matchup between the Dolphins and Bills, as the Jaguars and Titans play in the 1:00 PM EST slot.

The earliest they could be eliminated from the playoffs would be if they lost on Saturday and the Raiders beat the Broncos in the late afternoon game.