We’re all aware of the significance of winning vs. losing when the Steelers take the field. The Steelers’ Week Six victory over Cincinnati was the difference between being only .5 out of the AFC North Division lead instead of being a daunting 2.5 behind. With still a lot of games remaining, the playoff contenders and pretenders aren’t Most of the time, Steelers fans know to root for. But here’s a guide to significant matchups and whose losses the Steelers would benefit more from this weekend.
If the season ended today, the Steelers would be the eighth seed in the AFC, so there are plenty of teams to root for with the Steelers on the bye. Here are the current AFC playoff standings.
- Kansas City Chiefs 5-1 (Would win AFC West and get a First Round Bye)
- New England Patriots 4-2 (Would win AFC East and get a First Round Bye)
- Cincinnati Bengals 4-2 (Would win AFC West and host Wild Card Baltimore)
- Tennessee Titans 3-3 (Would win AFC South and host Wild Card Los Angeles Chargers)
- Los Angeles Chargers 4-2 (Would earn Wild Card and travel to Tennessee)
- Baltimore Ravens 4-2 (Would earn Wild Card and travel to Cincinnati)
- Miami Dolphins 4-2
- Pittsburgh Steelers 3-2-1
- Houston Texans 3-3
- Jacksonville Jaguars 3-3
- New York Jets 3-3
- Cleveland Browns 2-3-1
- Buffalo Bills 2-4
- Denver Broncos 2-4
- Oakland Raiders 1-5
- Indianapolis Colts 1-5
Los Angeles Chargers at Tennessee Titans - Sun 9:30 AM (London)
While both teams are ahead of the Steelers in the playoff rankings, the Titans are a half-of-a-game behind Pittsburgh. The Chargers are also on a roll and are a bigger threat in the WC race. Therefore, I’m pulling for Mike Vrabel’s team in this contest.
Who to root for: Tennessee
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars - Sunday 1 PM
The winner of this matchup could find themselves in first place in the AFC South. The loser will find themselves slipping down the rankings, with a lot of ground to make up. The Steelers recent history against the Jags has been disconcerting. Even though Pittsburgh plays Jacksonville in November, facing them in January again would be less than desired. Go Texans!
Who to root for: Houston
New England Patriots at Chicago Bears - Sunday 1 PM
It’s Brady. It’s Belichick. It’s Edelman, Gronk, Hightower and Hogan. It’s obvious. Da Bears.
Who to root for: Chicago
Cleveland Browns at Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Sunday 1 PM
Cleveland fell back to earth last week and a game behind the Steelers in the division. Another loss a week before their rematchwould be cool. But most of all, you always root against the AFC North. Plus it seems natural to bellow “Let’s go Bucs!”.
Who to root for: Tampa Bay
Detroit Lions at Miami Dolphins - Sunday 4:05 PM
I’m torn here. Wierd, huh. Typically you want AFC competition to lose interleague games. But I want to see the Dolphins overtake New England in the AFC East. While unlikely, a guy can dream about Patriot demise. The hope here is to make up WC ground later.
Who to root for: Miami
New Orleans Saints at Baltimore Ravens - Sunday 4:25 PM
Another no-brainer. Luv ya (the other) Black-and-Gold.
Who to root for: New Orleans
Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs - Sunday 8:20
The Chiefs finally lost for the initial time last week, but they are still miles in front of Pittsburgh. But most importantly, the Bengal are fast becoming Publuc Enemy #1.
Who to root for: Kansas City
AFC Bye-Weekers: Oakland Raiders
Other games featuring AFC teams:
Buffalo Bills at Indianapolis Colts Sunday 1 PM
Minnesota Vikings at New York Jets - Sunday 1 PM