With no Pittsburgh Steelers game this week, it leaves fans with an empty feeling. After all, with a game every Thursday, Sunday or Monday the past 10 weeks, what are you supposed to do on this NFL Sunday? There is still a full slate of games this week, and with the Steelers 6-4, they certainly will be watching the see who wins and loses, and how it impacts the AFC Playoff Picture.
Below are the games Steelers fans should be interested in, as they can not only impact the AFC Playoff outlook, but also the Steelers quest to make the postseason for back-to-back seasons. Before getting into the games, take a look at the current AFC Playoff Picture:
Week 10 AFC Playoff Picture:
4. Indianapolis Colts
5. Pittsburgh Steelers
Here are the teams fans should focus on heading into Week 11, and who I think fans should be rooting for in these matchups.
Clearly, in this inter-conference matchup, the Steelers could benefit from a Cowboys victory. The Dolphins (4-5) are still a team in the hunt for a Wild Card playoff spot. Every loss they are dealt will be one less team the Steelers have to be concerned with down the stretch. As much as it pains me to say, root for the Cowboys.
The 5-4 Jets and the 4-5 Texans both have a lot to play for, and this is an AFC matchup which will carry with it some steep consequences. If the Jets are able to defeat the Texans, they will insert themselves back into the wild card position, but if the Texans can win they won't just be a team staying relevant in the AFC South, but a team relevant in the AFC playoff picture. The Texans are the least dangerous of the two teams, root for the Texans.
Cincinnat Bengals vs. Arizona Cardinals
This one should be a no-brainer. If the Steelers want a shot at claiming the AFC North division, they will need to catch up to Cincinnati. You root for the Cardinals in this game. Simple as that.
The Chiefs (4-5) are a major threat to the Steelers. They have a better conference record and defeated Pittsburgh in Week 7, giving them the head-to-head tie breaker, it if came down to that. The Chargers are a bad team, but Philip Rivers is always capable of pulling off an upset. Root for the Chargers this week.
Another obvious selection here. The Steelers playoff hopes have nothing to do with any NFC team, but the Raiders (4-5) are still in the hunt. Despite the Steelers' having the head-to-head matchup, Oakland could be a dangerous team. Best bet to keep them out of the picture. Root for the Lions.
Atlanta Falcons vs. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts will be quarterbacked by Matt Hasselback this weekend, and for the foreseeable future, with Andrew Luck out of the lineup. The team is 4-5, and trying to stay afloat in the AFC South and the playoff picture. If they were to lose this game, it would put them behind the proverbial 8-ball both in their division and the playoff picture. Root for the Falcons.
Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots
The toughest game to watch for Steelers fans. The hatred for New England runs deep, but when it comes to the Steelers playoff hopes, eliminating as many teams as possible is the most important thing. The Patriots are almost a lock to make the playoffs, but the Bills are certainly a team who could be in the Steelers' way. With that said, a Patriots' win Monday night will benefit the Steelers more than a Bills' victory. Therefore, root for the Patriots.