Thursday night football games are lousy. Tough on players with only 4 days to prep for the upcoming game. Tough on websites like this one who are trying to cram a week’s worth of content into such a small window and even tough on fans who might still be emotionally drained from the previous week’s contest.
However, there is one positive from Thursday night games. If you win, the players and fans get to sit back, relax and watch the rest of the NFL go head-to-head on Sunday.
After the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Indianapolis Colts in Week 12, they now get to sit back and see how things unfold this Sunday. This is where the rooting guide comes into play. The Steelers are 6-5, but who should fans be rooting for this Sunday?
We tell you in this easy-to-read format.
Cincinnati Bengals at
Baltimore Ravens (1:00 p.m. EDT)
Who you should be rooting for: Cincinnati
Why: It just sounds horrible to think about actually rooting for the Bengals. Well, you should, but I strongly advise you to shower afterwards. After cleansing yourself of the Bengal stench, realize them winning in Baltimore would be a huge advantage for the Steelers’ hopes of winning the AFC North. If Baltimore wins, they would stay above Pittsburgh with the head-to-head tie breaker.
Tennessee Titans at
Chicago Bears (1:00 p.m. EDT)
Who you should be rooting for: Chicago
Why: The Titans are hanging around the AFC Playoff Picture at 5-6, and it might be time for them to just go away. Root for the Bears to send them to 5-7 and closer to oblivion.
San Francisco 49ers at
Miami Dolphins (1:00 p.m. EDT)
Who you should be rooting for: San Francisco
Why: The chances the playoff field comes back to the Steelers is still a possibility, and if that happens Pittsburgh needs the Dolphins to trip up at some point. The Dolphins are 6-4, and haven’t lost a game since beating Pittsburgh earlier this year. Their head-to-head win would give them the tie breakers, so the more they lose, the better.
San Diego Chargers at
Houston Texans (1:00 p.m. EDT)
Who you should be rooting for: San Diego
Why: Let’s assume the Steelers are going to win the AFC North, then you hope you claim the No. 3 seed to play the No. 6 seed in the Wild Card round of the AFC Playoffs. The Texans currently hold that spot as the leaders of the AFC South, and a 6-4 record. A loss will make the race to the No. 3 seed a bit more interesting.
Carolina Panthers at
Oakland Raiders (4:25 p.m. EDT)
Who you should be rooting for: Carolina
Why: The Raiders are currently the No. 1 seed in the AFC Playoff Picture. At 8-2 they could use a good ol’ fashioned butt whooping to bring them back to reality. The Panthers could do it, if they play the way they are capable, and the Raiders are actually better on the road than at home.
Kansas City Chiefs at
Denver Broncos (8:25 p.m. EDT)
Who you should be rooting for: Push
Why: Both of these teams are 7-3, so this game will have pretty strong consequences in the AFC West. However, it could also have AFC Playoff Picture ramifications if the top half of the bracket continues to slide. At this point, whichever team you wouldn’t want to play in the postseason, root against them.