We’re all aware of the significance of the Steelers’ visit to the Colts, but with the second half of the season underway for most teams, the playoff contenders and pretenders are becoming better defined. Most of the time, Steelers fans know to root for. But here’s a guide to other significant matchups and whose losses the Steelers would benefit more from this weekend.
If the season ended today, the Steelers would have the top seed in the AFC. Here are the current AFC playoff standings.
- Pittsburgh Steelers 6-2 (Would win AFC North and get a First Round Bye)
- New England Patriots 6-2 (Would win AFC East and get a First Round Bye)
- Kansas City Chiefs 6-3 (Would win AFC West and host Wild Card Buffalo)
- Tennessee Titans 5-3 (Would win AFC South and host Wild Card Jacksonville)
- Jacksonville Jaguars 5-3 (Would earn Wild Card and travel to Tennessee)
- Buffalo Bills 6-3 (Would earn Wild Card and travel to Kansas City)
- Miami Dolphins 4-4
- Baltimore Ravens 4-5
- Oakland Raiders 4-5
- New York Jets 4-5
- Houston Texans 3-5
- Cincinnati Bengals 3-5
- Los Angeles Chargers 3-5
- Denver Broncos 3-5
- Indianapolis Colts 3-6
- Cleveland Browns 0-8
Who to root for: The Bills are 5-3 and a game behind the Patriots. I think it benefits everybody if New England is forced to sweat. Buffalo building momentum and possibly winning the division strengthens the Steelers quest for the top seed in the AFC. Nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills. At least that's what I've heard.
Who to root for: The Titans are going to be a tough opponent a week from now, but for now this game serves two purposes for Steelers fans. 1) You don't want the Titans coming in off of a loss and 2) You want a divisional foe to sink deeper and deeper out of contention. This is a Music City Must. Yay Titans!
Who to root for: The Week-5 loss to the 5-3 Jags gives them a head-to-head tiebreaker. The Steelers are only a game ahead, so (sing it)...San Di-eg-o Su-per Char-gers, San Di-eg-o Su-per Char-gers. Wait, I can't sing that anymore? Nuts, that was a great fight song. Go L.A., I guess.
New England Patriots at Denver Broncos-Sun 8:30 PM
Who to root for: With the only exception being ISIS, I root for everybody over Belichick's boys. The 3-5 Broncos are reeling, but they've had Mile High magic in recent history over New England and need to erase a beatdown last week in Phily. Bust 'em Broncos!
Who to root for: While the 4-4 Dolphins aren't too significant a threat to the Steelers, a conference foe knocked down further isn't a terrible thing. Panthers.