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NFL playoff picture: Chiefs rooting guide, Steelers on the outside looking in

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UPDATEClick here for the updated playoff picture

The Kansas City Chiefs are holding strong with the top Wild Card in the AFC playoff picture. If they keep winning they will be in. You can go to ESPN's playoff machine and test the possibilities but the Chiefs can lose one of their final four games and likely be OK. If they lose two of their final four games then they will likely need some help.

So root for a Chiefs win. That's the key to this week's rooting guide. I have provided a list of the relevant AFC playoff picture games and who to root for. Some have a direct affect on the Chiefs while others do not. The Steelers are playing really, really well so I do not want to see them in the playoffs. Therefore, I'm rooting against the Steelers at every chance I get.

You can find more NFL playoff scenarios with ESPN's playoff machine.

Here is the NFC playoff picture. The AFC playoff picture is below.

AFC playoff picture

(Overall record, AFC record)

1. Cincinnati Bengals (10-2, 8-1)

2. Denver Broncos (10-2, 6-2)

3. New England Patriots (10-2, 7-1)

4. Indianapolis Colts (6-6, 4-4)

5. Kansas City Chiefs (7-5, 6-2)

6. New York Jets (7-5, 5-4)

In the hunt

7. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5, 4-4)

8. Buffalo Bills (6-6, 6-5)

9. Houston Texans (6-6, 4-4)

10. Oakland Raiders (5-7, 5-4)

11. Miami Dolphins (5-7, 3-6)

Chargers vs. Chiefs

Sources tell me the Chiefs will do better in the AFC playoff picture if they keep winning. So let's root for that.

Bills vs. Eagles

I feel bad for Bills fans. They're as good as Chiefs fans. So I root for those Bills fans to have a team to root for in the playoffs ... assuming this doesn't come at the expense of the Chiefs. If KC keeps winning then this won't have much affect on them.

Titans vs. Jets

I do NOT want to play the Steelers. Keep them out. So I root for the Jets to remain one spot ahead of the Steelers. Go Jets!

Steelers vs. Bengals

The Bengals are getting and I do not want the Steelers in. Go Bengals!

Colts vs. Jaguars

I root for chaos in the AFC playoffs. Therefore I root for the Colts to lose and someone else - Texans? - to pick up the final playoff spot. Go Jags!

Raiders vs. Broncos

The Chiefs can still win the division. Unlikely? Yes. Possible? Yes! Plus, I would rather see the Raiders in the playoffs rather than the Jets or Steelers. Go Raiders!

Patriots vs. Texans

I want to root for the Texans to make the playoffs over the Colts but I also want to root for the Patriots to win so the Chiefs wouldn't have to travel there on Wild Card weekend. So root for which scenario you want but ... go Patriots!

Giants vs. Dolphins

Miami won't make the playoffs at 5-7 but if they did by some miracle I would want to play them so I will root for them.

Chiefs remaining schedule

Week 14: San Diego Chargers (Dec. 13, 12 p.m, CBS)
Week 15: @ Baltimore Ravens (Dec. 20, 12 p.m., CBS)
Week 16: Cleveland Browns (Dec. 27, 12 p.m., CBS)
Week 17: Oakland Raiders (Jan. 3, 12 p.m., CBS)