The Pittsburgh Steelers will look to get back on the winning track Sunday night in Buffalo. While you might think a team that started 11-0 has a clear path to winning its division or earning a bye week, if the Steelers are to lose in Buffalo they’re instantly in a really tough spot. The Steelers must avoid going on a losing skid at all costs.
For starters if the Steelers are to lose to the Bills on Sunday night, the Kansas City Chiefs will own all of the most important playoff tie-breakers with the Steelers. A loss means the only way the Steelers can get a first round bye week is by finishing the year with a better record than the Chiefs. Tying the Chiefs and winning the AFC is no longer an option at this point. And for a team that has been decimated by Injury in recent weeks, losing that week off might spell the end of the Steelers season in a quick playoff stint. Say they are survive the wildcard and divisional playoff rounds, I don’t think the Steelers can be successful going into Kansas City to play a rested Chiefs squad that is built on its speed.
The Bye week is unbelievably important for the Steelers and really the rest of the AFC. At some point we need to look at this Chiefs team and realize if they're the only team that gets an extra week off they should start planning flights to Tampa Bay for the Super Bowl. The Bills would never do this, but they might see themselves having an easier path if they have to play Kansas City on no rest, then heading to a refueled opponent...
The second reason why this game is important is because if the Steelers find themselves on a losing skid all of a sudden the Browns are in contention to steal the AFC North from right under the Steelers noses. Now I don’t know about you but being the first team since the NFL merger to start 11-0 to lose its division would be quite embarrassing. Knocking off the Bills would keep that nice two and a half game cushion between the Steelers and Browns.
I assure you any team that would go from 11-0 to having to be a wildcard road team would be such a tough mental collapse that the Steelers season ends right there, in the wildcard round. Don’t give the Browns hope, win this game and take one step closer to reclaiming the division title.
But what do you think? Is this a must win game for the Steelers? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below.