Currently, the playoff seeding is as follows:
CONF RK AFC W L T PCT DIV CONF SOS SOV REASON 1 Houston 8 1 0 .889 2-0-0 7-0-0 .500 .480 AFC South Champ 2 Baltimore 7 2 0 .778 3-0-0 6-1-0 .407 .349 AFC North Champ 3 New England 6 3 0 .667 3-0-0 5-1-0 .488 .430 AFC East Champ Wins tie break over Denver based on head-to-head win percentage. 4 Denver 6 3 0 .667 2-0-0 4-2-0 .556 .426 AFC West Champ 5 Indianapolis 6 3 0 .667 2-1-0 4-2-0 .405 .404 Wins tie break over Pittsburgh based on best win percentage in conference games. 6 Pittsburgh 6 3 0 .667 1-0-0 3-3-0 .398 .364
As it is right now, Pittsburgh and Baltimore would not meet in the playoffs unless it was the AFC Championship Game. Pittsburgh would have to beat New England and Houston on the road in order to get there, and then they'd be playing us in Baltimore. We'd have to defeat either Denver or Indianapolis in Baltimore in order to get there. Indianapolis would be playing in Denver during Wild Card week, with a rookie QB on the road, it seems likely we'd be set for Denver in Baltimore in order to get to the AFCCG.
But this is all besides the point, because the picture might not look like this after this week's games. But the teams will remain the same: it is impossible for any other team besides these 6 to be in position for a playoff spot after this week's games (because no other team has more than 4 wins right now). The only seed guaranteed to stay the same is Houston at #1.
Here are some possibilities: First of all, if Pittsburgh wins, the Ravens are then going to become a wild card team, and Pittsburgh will take over the division, despite a tied 7-3 record for each team, because of division record advantage. We would be guaranteed the 5th seed, since the other wild card team would still be Indianapolis at the 6th seed, since the best they could do is tie us with a 7-3 record by beating New England, but we would win the conference record tie breaker.
So as the 5th seed, we would be playing the 4th seed, which would either be Pittsburgh, New England, or Denver. If Denver loses to San Diego, it's definitely Denver. The only way it would be Pittsburgh is if both New England and Denver win. If Denver wins and New England loses, it would be New England.
So that about covers the scenarios where Pittsburgh wins.
What about if we win?
We would still be in at #2, with Houston at #1 even if they lost their game, because we lost the head-to-head game against them.
Pittsburgh would be guaranteed to stay as the 6th seed, since Indianapolis is still assured the other wild card spot, and they'd have a better conference record than Pittsburgh, thus securing the 5th seed, whether they lose to New England or not. So if we win in Pittsburgh, the playoff picture remains almost identical to what it looks like right now, with all 6 of the same teams remaining in the picture, and 4 of the 6 guaranteed to keep their same seed spot. The only thing that could change is whether New England or Denver switch the 3rd and 4th seed spots, which would only happen if New England loses, and Denver wins.
So to summarize, if we win in Pittsburgh, the playoff picture will remain entirely unchanged unless New England loses and Denver wins, in which case they will swap the 3rd and 4th seeds. Pretty interesting.
If we lose in Pittsburgh, every seed but the #1 can be switched around, but no matter what no different teams will enter the picture.
Edited by callahan09, 16 November 2012 - 10:29 AM.