After three straight wins the Pittsburgh Steelers have clawed their way back to five hundred. That is good enough for the seventh seed in the AFC playoff picture right now. Here’s how the the AFC looks right now at the halfway point of the season:

1. New England Patriots (8-1)

2. Baltimore Ravens (6-2)

3. Houston Texans (6-3)

4. Kansas City Chiefs (6-3)

5. Buffalo Bills (6-2)

6. Indianapolis Colts (5-3)

7. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-4)

8. Oakland Raiders (4-4)

9. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5)

10. Tennessee Titans (4-5)

AFC North:

Unfortunately for the Steelers, the Baltimore Ravens positioned themselves nicely for the AFC North title after beating the Patriots on Sunday. They currently have a two game lead on Pittsburgh, and hold the tie breaker with only eight games remaining. It would take a significant collapse by the Ravens for them not to win the division at this point.

AFC Wild Card:

This is where the Steelers have their best chance of making the playoffs in 2019. The win against the Indianapolis Colts last week was huge for several reasons. Not only did it keep the Colts within striking distance, the win also gave the Steelers an all-important tie breaking advantage as well. Catching Indianapolis in the standings is now a very real possibility. The Buffalo Bills are also within the Steelers sights in the playoff hunt. Buffalo has a brutal stretch later on in the season where they face the Cowboys, Ravens, Steelers, and Patriots in their last five games before ending with the Jets. That week 15 matchup between Pittsburgh and Buffalo could have serious wild card implications. The Raiders are a team to keep an eye on going forward. They have the easiest remaining schedule of any of the AFC contenders.

Remaining Strenght of Schedule:

Here are the average winning percentages for the remaining schedules of all the AFC playoff contenders from toughest to easiest:

1. Titans – .633

2. Texans – .533

3. Ravens – .492

4. Chiefs – .492

5. Patriots – .492

6. Colts – .485

7. Bills – .455

8. Jaguars – .431

9. Steelers – .392

10. Raiders – .371

Despite all that has happened to the Steelers this season they still find themselves in the thick of the AFC playoff race. They have some very favorable things going for them including strength of schedule and tie-breakers. There is still a lot of season left, but where the team currently stands is the best case scenario after starting 0-3. Check back weekly for updates to the Steelers playoff hopes.