The Steelers are scheduled to play the 9-3 Buffalo Bills on Sunday Night Football and it is more important than ever for them to win. Of course, winning that game continues to be paramount for supremacy in the conference. However, there are plenty of games that are crucial to their playoff hopes, in and out of the division. Most of the time, Steelers fans know who to root for. But here’s a guide to significant matchups, and whose losses Pittsburgh would benefit more from this weekend. Once again, the black-and-gold need to win for this wish list to be viable. But any edge on the competition in the AFC is welcome.
Here are the conference standings going in to Week 14
e: Eliminated x: Clinched playoff berth y: Clinched division z: Clinched conference
- Pittsburgh Steelers (No change) 10-0: Would win AFC North and earn a bye in Round 1
- x Kansas City Chiefs (No change) 11-1: Would win AFC West and host Las Vegas in Round 1
- Buffalo Bills (+1) 8-3: Would win AFC East and host in Round 1
- Tennessee Titans (-1) 8-4: Would win AFC South and host in Round 1
- Cleveland Browns (No change) 9-3: Would earn the first Wild Card and travel to Tennessee
- Miami Dolphins (No change) 8-4: Would earn the second Wild Card and travel to Buffalo
- Indianapolis Colts (No change) 8-4: Would earn the third Wild Card and travel to Kansas City
- Las Vegas Raiders (No change) 7-5
- Baltimore Ravens 7-5 (No change)
- New England Patriots (No change) 6-6
- e Denver Broncos (No change) 4-8
- e Houston Texans (No change) 4-8
- e Los Angeles Chargers (No change) 3-9
- e Cincinnati Bengals (No change) 2-9-1
- e Jacksonville Jaguars (No change) 1-11
- e New York Jets (No change) 0-12
Denver Broncos at Carolina Panthers - Sunday 1:00 PM
The Broncos were decimated by injuries at the beginning of the season and are no threat to the Steelers in 2020. They can be a strong team next season and beyond. Normally, I’d say root for Denver to win to get a lower draft pick. But I’ll tempt fate and risk the creation of a monster to give Patrick Mahomes stiff competition in the AFC West.
Who to root for: Carolina Panthers
Houston Texans at Chicago Bears - Sunday 1:00 PM
This game is definitely of no consequence to the Steelers at all. I like Houston at this juncture, but that can change in the very near future.
Who to root for: Rooter’s Choice
Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars - Sunday 1:00PM
The Titans did not help the Steelers whatsoever last week against Cleveland. They could very well be a team that could knock off KC or Buffalo in the playoffs. With that said, maybe a Wildcard berth would be more beneficial for the Steelers cause.
Who to root for: Jacksonville Jaguars
Kansas City Chiefs at Miami Dolphins - Sunday 1:00PM
The Steelers are holding on to a slim lead in the AFC standings over the Chiefs, but there is no margin for error now at all. KC’s best opportunity to lose would be this week against Miami and next week vs. New Orleans. A loss to the Saints is less favorable for the Steelers than a defeat at the hands of the Phins.
Who to root for: Miami Dolphins
New York Jets at Seattle Seahawks - Sunday 4:05 PM
There is some speculation that Bill Cowher may wish to return to coaching an NFL team, with that team being the J-E-T-S, JETS, JETS, JETS. While I don’t actually think that would ever come in to fruition, I’d root for Cowher most places that he would end up. Of course, there are obvious exceptions. So, if that is a possibility...Jets need to go 0-16, Heck, their fans are rooting against them right now.
Who to root for: Seattle Seahawks
Indianapolis Colts at Las Vegas Raiders - Sunday 4:05 PM
If the Raiders lose, the Steelers will clinch a spot in the playoffs, But, they don’t need help that way. The Steelers need to win on their own. The help that would be appreciated would be if the Raiders could possibly stop the Chiefs in the playoffs. They have the formula. Vegas could also keep Baltimore out if they remain ahead of them. The Colts are an odd team. They look like world beaters one week and like door mats the next. I don’t see them as a threat to Pittsburgh’s competition in the playoffs.
Who to root for: Las Vegas Raiders
Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Chargers - Sunday 4:25 PM
Yet another game that doesn’t matter. Like Denver, this AFC West team could also benefit from losing to gain a higher pick to eventually challenge the Chiefs.
Who to root for: Atlanta Falcons
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns - Monday 8:20 PM
Here we go. It’s time to sleep with the enemy. It’s very rare to have to root for the Baltimore Ravens and it always feels wrong. It’s like cheering for Voldemort, Thanos and Newman all at once. But the Steelers could use help from the Ravens. Another Cleveland loss in the AFC North would clinch the division for the Steelers should they win another game. And contrary to popular belief, the Steelers aren’t done winning. I know rooting for the Ravens seems sacrilegious to Steeler Nation, but the Ravens aren’t a threat right now. They could be again in the playoffs, But for now, the Browns are the biggest bad guys. So...yay Lamar.
Who to root for: Baltimore Ravens
Who do you like in these games for yinzer’s sake? Let us know in the comment section in this article or on BTSC social media, and if you want more explanation to these picks check out the new Rooting Guide podcast below: