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3 games to watch in Week 16 which could impact the Steelers’ playoff scenarios

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There are several NFL games this week which will help shape the playoff picture for the Steelers

NFL: DEC 15 Bills at Steelers Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With their 17–10 loss to the Buffalo Bills Sunday night, the Pittsburgh Steelers have solidified their lone path to the 2019 postseason. It’s the sixth seed and only the sixth seed for the Steelers, and although they are sitting there currently they still must perform in order to hold off the Tennessee Titans. While there are a couple other teams that are mathematically still alive, the reality is this: It is a two-horse race. The Steelers are in the lead, but they have to keep winning in order to stay there.

With only two games remaining, the focus has turned from strictly opponents the Steelers still have to face to games which will be of interest to Steelers’ fans due to how they affect the AFC playoff hunt. First and foremost, the Steelers’ game is by far the most important for them to hold their current position. But several other games around the NFL can have some serious implications as to where teams are seeded before next week. This week will have a slightly different approach. Therefore, some of the choices may surprise you as some are setting the stage for the importance of the games in Week 17.


Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots

Saturday at 4:30 PM on NFLN

This might be a curious choice to some, but this game is going to mean an awful lot when it comes to the shuffling for seeds in the AFC. If the Bills can take down the Patriots, they could find themselves the AFC East champions and could force New England to go on the road as a wildcard. So there is a realistic chance the Steelers could face either one of these teams in the first round of the playoffs. And since the Steelers just fell to the Bills, it also will be a good gauge as to the quality of the opponent with which they came up a little short.


Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns

Sunday 1:00 PM on CBS

Once again, I feel that there is an explanation in order as to why this game is important to the Steelers. As much as anything, it goes towards the quality of the opponent the Steelers will face in Week 17. If the Baltimore Ravens win this week, they are the number one seed and have nothing to play for in Week 17. This bodes much better for the Steelers. Additionally, seeing the Browns mathematically eliminated once and for all is never a bad thing.


Houston Texans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Saturday at 1:00 PM on NFLN

Now you think I’m totally crazy! But hear me out. Believe it or not, what happens with the Texans this week is more important then what happens with the Titans. If the Steelers win their final two games, the Titans cannot catch them. But if the Titans fall to the Saints, they can still catch the Steelers by beating the Texans if the Steelers were to drop a game. So it’s really the Tennessee at Houston game in Week 17 which is more important than their games in Week 16. Therefore, Houston needs to have something to play for next week. Whether it is still holding off the Titans for the AFC South or if they have a chance to move up in the standings, the best thing for the Steelers would be for the Texans to need the victory over the Titans next week. Therefore, what the Texans do this week will help determine their level of commitment to their Week 17 matchup.


So there are the three other NFL matchups which can give Steelers’ fans a clearer picture as to what the Steelers will need to do to qualify for the 2019 postseason as well their positioning. While handling their own business is of the upmost importance, getting a little help along the way to make the Steelers path easier is always welcomed.

So which of these games this week will be the most telling as it pertains to the 2019 Pittsburgh Steelers playoff scenarios moving forward? Make sure you vote in the poll and give your thoughts in the comments below.

Poll

Which other NFL game in Week 16 do you think impacts the Steelers’ playoff picture the most?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots
    (164 votes)
  • 28%
    Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns
    (404 votes)
  • 60%
    Houston Texans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    (857 votes)
1425 votes total Vote Now