NFL Week 12 Playoff Picture: It's a huge week for the Pittsburgh Steelers

2T32PAF Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett, left, congratulates wide receiver George Pickens after Pickens made a catch during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

• Eagles out in front in the NFC: The Philadelphia Eagles have a 71% chance of securing the top seed in the NFC, according to PFF's model.

• A massive week for the Steelers: The Pittsburgh Steelers have a 76% chance of making the playoffs with a Week 12 win against the Joe Burrow-less Cincinnati Bengals, but their chances will fall to just 39% with a loss.

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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

The situation ahead of Week 12

Current AFC playoff standings
  1. Baltimore Ravens (8-3)
  2. Kansas City Chiefs (7-3)
  3. Jacksonville Jaguars (7-3)
  4. Miami Dolphins (7-3)
  5. Cleveland Browns (7-3)
  6. Houston Texans (6-4)
  7. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4)
Current NFC playoff standings
  1. Philadelphia Eagles (9-1)
  2. Detroit Lions (8-2)
  3. San Francisco 49ers (7-3)
  4. New Orleans Saints (5-5)
  5. Dallas Cowboys (7-3)
  6. Seattle Seahawks (6-4)
  7. Minnesota Vikings (6-5)

If these standings held up, we would welcome three new AFC teams (Steelers, Browns and Texans) as well as two new NFC teams (Lions and Saints) to the playoffs.

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The projections

Naturally, it’s unlikely the playoff picture will remain constant over the remainder of the season. And that’s why it makes sense to look at the projected playoff picture — the estimated chances PFF gives each team to make the playoffs.

The following charts show the projected playoff chances for each team alongside the playoff leverage, i.e., how the playoff chances would change with a win or loss.

The logos show the current playoff chances. The points to the right of the logos indicate the chances after a win, and the points to the left indicate the chances after a loss.




Team Chances with win Chances with loss Leverage
Pittsburgh Steelers 76% 39% 37%
New Orleans Saints 80% 44% 36%
Houston Texans 67% 32% 35%
Atlanta Falcons 41% 8% 33%
Buffalo Bills 61% 29% 32%
Seattle Seahawks 89% 59% 30%

Playoff scenarios

Home-field advantage

Teams that hold the No. 1 seed in the conference have a huge advantage going into the playoffs. Here are the most likely teams to do that.

Kansas City Chiefs 39% Philadelphia Eagles 71%
Baltimore Ravens 24% San Francisco 49ers 11%
Jacksonville Jaguars 13% Detroit Lions 12%
Cleveland Browns 10% Dallas Cowboys 5%
Two wild cards for the same division

With the introduction of the seventh playoff seed, we've become accustomed to seeing three playoff teams from the same division. This has happened every year since 2020, when the playoffs were extended.

As of now, the AFC North has the best chances to pull it off, even though the Cincinnati Bengals’ chances took a major hit after Joe Burrow’s season-ending injury.

North 52% 12%
East 1% 3%
South 10% 2%
West 1% 4%

Looking ahead to draft season

There are a few teams whose playoff chances are already bleak. But don’t fret — there is always the offseason and, most importantly, the draft.

PFF's customizable mock draft simulator gives you the opportunity to be the GM for any team in the 2024 NFL Draft — click here to start drafting!
The following teams have the biggest chance of picking first overall:
Here are the chances of selecting inside the top five:

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