Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 12/2/12

PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 07: Charlie Batch #16 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on from the sideline against the Cleveland Browns December 7, 2006 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers won 27-7. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Who knew that Charlie Batch would wind up a savior in New England on Sunday. The Steelers’ third-string quarterback helped lead his team past the Ravens — despite some accuracy issues — which helped the Patriots vault into the No. 2 seed in the AFC. At 9-3, the Patriots, Ravens and Broncos are all tied in the AFC standings, but the tiebreakers currently work in New England’s favor since the Pats have the best record against AFC opponents, according to NFL.com. This will all change when Peyton Manning and the Broncos journey to Baltimore in Week 15, though. If the Patriots win out, they’ll be rooting for the Broncos over the Ravens. Since that game will break the three-way tie, the tiebreaker would go to head-to-head record, which would favor New England over Denver, but not over Baltimore. The season’s a long way from being over and the Patriots will obviously be concentrating on beating the Texans and 49ers in consecutive weeks, rather than where they currently stand in the playoff picture. But, according to Scott Zolak‘s Twitter feed, the Patriots were celebrating on the plane ride home when they saw Pittsburgh had won. Still, the Steelers win over the Ravens made the chances of a first-round bye a lot better than if Baltimore had won.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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