The Steelers' upset loss at Mile High early Sunday evening worked out to New England's favor, sliding the Patriots back into the No. 2 seed in the AFC.
At 8-3 the Patriots stand one game behind the Kansas City Chiefs, of whom they own the head-to-head matchup over, and a half-game over the Houston Texans, who play the Tennessee Titans on Monday night.
Of the Patriots, Steelers and Texans, Pittsburgh has the toughest schedule the rest of the way. Three of the Steelers' final five opponents have at least eight wins on the year (Chargers, Patriots, Saints), while the Patriots and Texans' final five opponents both have a combined record under .500.
Here's how the playoff picture looks after Sunday's games:
1. Kansas City 9-2
2. New England 8-3
3. Houston 7-3
4. Pittsburgh 7-3-1
5. LA Chargers 8-3
6. Baltimore 6-5
IN THE HUNT
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