The Steelers are scheduled to play the 10-4 Indianapolis Colts on Sunday and a win is more important than ever for they clinch the division with a win. 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 15
e: Eliminated x: Clinched playoff berth y: Clinched division z: Clinched conference
- xy Kansas City Chiefs (No change) 13-1: Would win AFC West and earn a bye in Round 1
- xy Buffalo Bills (+1) 11-3: Would win AFC East and host Indianapolis in Round 1
- x Pittsburgh Steelers (-1) 11-3: Would win AFC North and host Miami in Round 1
- Tennessee Titans (No change) 10-4: Would win AFC South and host Cleveland in Round 1
- Indianapolis Colts (+1) 10-4: Would earn the second Wild Card and travel to Buffalo
- Cleveland Browns (-1) 10-4: Would earn the first Wild Card and travel to Tennessee
- Miami Dolphins (No change) 9-5: Would earn the third Wild Card and travel to Pittsburgh
- Baltimore Ravens 9-5 (No change)
- Las Vegas Raiders (No change) 7-7
- e New England Patriots (No change) 6-8
- e Denver Broncos (No change) 5-9
- e Los Angeles Chargers (No change) 5-9
- e Houston Texans (No Ccange) 4-10
- e Cincinnati Bengals (No change) 3-10-1
- e New York Jets (+1) 1-13
- e Jacksonville Jaguars (-1) 1-13
Miami Dolphins at Las Vegas Raiders - Saturday 8:15 PM
These are two AFC teams that appeared the most as teams to root for in the 2020 Rooting Guide. At this point, the 7-7 Raiders are no help to the Steelers, but the Dolphins could keep the Ravens out of the postseason by winning their last two on the road vs. Vegas and Buffalo.
Who to root for: Miami Dolphins
Atlanta Falcons at Kansas City Chiefs - Sunday 1:00PM
The Chiefs would have to lose out against Atlanta and the Chargers. The Steelers would have to win out (IND, at CLE) for Pittsburgh to reclaim the top seed in the AFC. The New Orleans Saints weren’t able to help the cause last week and I sincerely doubt that the Falcons will this week. But one can hope.
Who to root for: Atlanta Falcons
Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans - Sunday 1:00PM
My only rooting interest in this game is draft position. I actually really like the Texans, but they don’t have anything to gain by winning. Losing does help though. I’d rather not see the Bengals pick better than they already will. So, hence the rooting nod.
Who to root for: Cincinnati Bengals
New York Giants at Baltimore Ravens - Sunday 1:00 PM
I really don’t want to see the Ravens in the playoffs. A loss keeps them closer to out of the postseason. But with the Giants and Bengals on the docket. They could be punching their ticket.
Who to root for: New York Giants
Cleveland Browns at New York Jets - Sunday 1:00 PM
Do the New York Jets have another win in them? The Cleveland Browns are getting into that Ravens Zone where you root against them as much as you possibly can. A divisional showdown between the Steelers and Browns might be on the radar next week.
Who to root for: New York Jets
Chicago Bears at Jacksonville Jaguars
This game means nothing to the Steelers. Actually, it might not mean much to the fans of the teams involved either. I get that the Bears are fighting for a playoff berth, so save the emails...I’m joking. But I don’t want the top overall pick ending up in Duval, so Jags it is.
Who to root for: Jacksonville Jaguars
Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers
This game means nothing to the playoff race or the Steelers whatsoever. So pick against the team you have the biggest beef with.
Who to root for: Rooter’s Choice
Tennessee Titans at Green Bay Packers- Sunday 8:20 PM
The Steelers are better served by the Colts winning the AFC South over the Titans. It all is about keeping the Ravens out and Tennessee owns a tiebreaker over Baltimore. Indianapolis does not. The Titans and their potent running game may be able to knock off a division winner as well.
Who to root for: Green Bay Packers
Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots - Monday 8:15 PM
The Steelers lose a tiebreaker against Buffalo and they now need a game advantage to get the top seed back. The Bills need to start losing again. The Pats are playing for pride and hopefully can comply.
Who to root for: New England Patriots
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: