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Week 16 Rooting Guide and Steeler Playoff Possibilities

Reader 'steelerbob' got things warmed up earlier this week with this outstanding diary, but let's get a main page thread going with the skinny on who, exactly, to root for this weekend.

Root for Pittsburgh over Baltimore Again: duh. But so we're clear, once more, Pittsburgh only has a chance at the playoffs if it wins out. 8-8 won't cut it.

Root for Kansas City over Oakland The Chiefs were on our "root against" list for much of this season, but return to the "root for" category now with a big chance to help the Steelers. Here's how: first, an 8-7 Kansas City team has a lot to play for in the season finale against Jacksonville, a team Pittsburgh needs to lose out. Additionally, should the Bungals get by the Broncos Sunday, Pittsburgh could use the Chiefs to bump Denver out of the picture. So, go Chiefs!

Root for New England over Jacksonville The Steelers don't own the tiebreaker with Jacksonville, so they really, really need New England to take care of business on Sunday. If Jacksonville wins Sunday, the Steelers are left hoping for a big, big miracle. Go Patriots!

Root for Denver over Cincinnati If Pittsburgh wins and Cincy loses, the season finale will determine which team of the two finishes the season at 9-7. If the Bungals -do- win, the Steelers need a LOT of good things to happen. Go Broncos!

Root for Miami over the Jets The pesky Jets can still get to 9 or 10 wins. Considering that the Jets close with Oakland, a Dolphins win here would be awfully nice. Go Dolphins!

Root for Tennessee over Buffalo The Titans helped the Steelers once; let's hope they can do it one more time with a win over Buffalo. This ought to be a tough, tough test for rookie Vince Young, but the Titans are rolling. One more, baby. One more! Go Titans!

Root for San Diego over Seattle Oddly, the Steelers may need the Niners motivated for their season finale with the Broncos. For that to be relevant, the Seahawks need to lose, while we...

Root for San Francisco over Arizona Go Niners!

Final Thoughts And that's where we stand right now. This isn't that far-fetched, really. The biggest test for Pittsburgh, of course, will be at Heinz Field. Beating the Ravens is essential, and won't be easy. I think it's a race to 20 points, and I think we need Ken Whisenhunt to have an oustanding afternoon. We. Must. Win. This. Game.