We are all aware of the significance of winning vs. losing when the Steelers take the field on the road against the sad sack (but still dangerous) Oakland Raiders on Sunday. Of course, the Steelers need to win to snap their two-game skid, remain atop the division and ward off surging Baltimore. With less games remaining, the playoff contenders and pretenders are becoming much more defined and a majority of the AFC teams games are of importance. Most of the time, Steelers fans know who 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 fourth seed in the AFC, but there are plenty of teams to root for in other action. Here are the current AFC playoff standings.
- Kansas City Chiefs 10-2 (Would win AFC West and would earn a First Round Bye)
- New England Patriots 9-3 (Would win AFC East and earn a First Round Bye)
- Houston Texans 9-3 (Would win AFC South and host Wild Card Ravens)
- Pittsburgh Steelers 7-4-1 (Would win AFC North and host Wild Card Chargers)
- Los Angeles Chargers 9-3 (Would earn Wild Card and travel to Pittsburgh)
- Baltimore Ravens 7-5 (Would earn Wild Card and travel to Houston)
- Tennessee Titans 7-6
- Miami Dolphins 6-6
- Indianapolis Colts 6-6
- Denver Broncos 6-6
- Cincinnati Bengals 5-7
- Cleveland Browns 4-7-1
- Buffalo Bills 4-8
- Jacksonville Jaguars 4-9
- New York Jets 3-9
- X-Oakland Raiders 2-8
Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs - Sunday 1:00 PM
The Lamar Jackson era has been successful-enough to get the Ravens within a half a game of the AFC North lead. For the first time all season, Steeler Nation needs to root for the Chiefs.
Who to root for: Kansas City Chiefs
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins - Sunday 1:00 PM
Who to root for: Miami Dolphins
Getting a bye might prove difficult, but a Patriots loss keeps that dream afloat. Plus who really roots for the Pats?
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans - Sunday 1:00 PM
Despite last week’s shut-out loss, Indy is still rising. They could be dangerous in the playoffs. But the hot team from Houston needs to have their roll slowed.
Who to root for: Indianapolis Colts
Cincinnati Bengals at Los Angeles Chargers - Sunday 4:05 PM
Always tough to cheer on this hot-mess, but the reeling Bengals upsetting the Chargers would be pleasing.
Who to root for: Cincinnati Bengals
Denver Broncos at San Francisco 49ers - Sunday 4:05 PM
Denver is dangerous and on the climb. A loss by them isn’t crucial to the Steelers, but I’d take it.
Who to root for: San Francisco 49ers
Other AFC Games in Week 14:
Carolina Panthers at Cleveland Browns - Sunday 1:00 PM
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills - Sunday 1:00 PM
Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans - Thursday 8:20 PM