The Pittsburgh Steelers are currently on the outside looking in on the AFC Playoff Picture, but with a 6-5 record, their season is far from in jeopardy. As Pittsburgh plays host to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday Night Football in a huge AFC game, you might be wondering who else to root for in Week 13 action which could somehow impact the black and gold's chances of making the postseason for the second straight year.
First, take a look at the current AFC Playoff Picture heading into Week 13:
4. Indianapolis Colts - 6-5
5. Kansas City Chiefs - 6-5
In the hunt:
For those who aren't familiar with the tie breaking procedures, you can find those conveniently here, but the Steelers are currently in the middle of a pack of 6-5 teams who are vying for two wild card spots in the playoffs. As Week 13 is only hours away, there are some very key matchups which could severely impact the entire AFC landscape. Take a look at those key matchups as well as who fans of the Steelers should be rooting for to give Pittsburgh an easier route to the postseason.
Houston Texans (6-5) at Buffalo Bills (5-6)
The Texans, courtesy of a better AFC record, are currently in the 6th seed, but that could all change when they travel to play the Bills this Sunday. If Buffalo is able to defeat the Texans at home, and the Steelers are able to defeat the Colts, it would put the Steelers above the Texans heading into Week 14, and plummeting Houston into a jumbled mess at 6-6. The loss would put Houston even behind Buffalo due to the head-to-head matchup. No doubt about it, root for the Bills.
Kansas City Chiefs (6-5) at Oakland Raiders (5-6)
The Chiefs defeated the Steelers in Week 7, giving them the tiebreaker over Pittsburgh when both teams have the same record. The Steelers defeated the Raiders in Week 9, giving them the head-to-head advantage. For the Steelers, tying Oakland wouldn't be a bad thing, but tying the Chiefs would be a horrible scenario. With that said, you have to root for Oakland to win this game. If the Steelers can defeat the Colts in prime time, it would put them a game ahead of the Chiefs in the race for the wild card.
New York Jets (6-5) at New York Giants (5-6)
When it comes to an AFC team in contention for a playoff spot playing a NFC team, you always root for the NFC team. The Jets are the visiting team, and will be playing at home as they play the Giants, but for the Steelers, and their fans, they are fans of Eli Manning and big blue this Sunday. The Jets have a better AFC record than Pittsburgh, which would give them the tiebreaker over Pittsburgh if it came down to it; therefore, root for the Giants to knock off the Jets this Sunday.
Although the Steelers still control much of their destiny if they continue to win, they can use all the help they can get after missing a golden opportunity in Week 12 against the Seattle Seahawks. The players might not be scoreboard watching, but fans should be glued to their TV sets keeping tabs on the games which can impact the Steelers.