The home game against the Patriots this weekend isn't only about redemption, it's about seeding and matchups. Even though it's not the Black-and-gold playing, other contests matter to Steelers Nation. Here’s a guide to other significant matchups, and whose losses the Steelers would benefit from more.
If the season ended today, the Steelers would have the top seed in the AFC. If the Steelers win against New England and Jacksonville loses, Pittsburgh clinches home-field advantage. But the Pats will be tough to beat, so all scenarios should be considered.
Here are the current AFC playoff standings.
(x) denotes eliminated
- Pittsburgh Steelers 11-2 (Would win AFC North and get a First Round Bye)
- New England Patriots 10-3 (Would win AFC East and get a First Round Bye)
- Jacksonville Jaguars 9-4 (Would win AFC South and host Wild Card Buffalo)
- Kansas City Chiefs 7-6 (Would win AFC West and host Wild Card Tennessee)
- Tennessee Titans 8-5 (Would earn First Wild Card and travel to Kansas City)
- Buffalo Bills 7-6 (Would earn Second Wild Card and travel to Jacksonville
- Baltimore Ravens 7-6
- Los Angeles Chargers 7-6
- Oakland Raiders 6-7
- Miami Dolphins 6-7
- New York Jets 5-8
- Cincinnati Bengals 5-8
- Houston Texans 4-9
- Denver Broncos 4-9 (x)
- Indianapolis Colts 3-10 (x)
- Cleveland Browns 0-13 (x)
Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs - Sat 8:25 PM
Who to root for: This game quite possibly could decide the AFC West. Kansas City has beaten the Patriots to open the season and seems to always play New England tough. KC is the rooting choice.
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns - Sun 1:00 PM
Who to root for: Although the Steelers could benefit from Baltimore playing New England in the playoffs, they may be difficult to beat for the third time. Go Browns.
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars - Sun 1:00 PM
Who to root for: The Steelers need to see Jacksonville lose at least one more for the sake of securing a bye and a No. 1 seed.
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills - Sun 1:00 PM
Who to root for: The Bills aren't too dangerous to have around in the playoffs. Let's Go Buffalo.
Tennessee Titans at San Francisco 49ers - Sun 4:25 PM
Who to root for: Pittsburgh would much rather see Tennessee in the playoffs than other teams. Take the Titans.
Other, less significant, Week 15 contests featuring an AFC foe:
Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts: Thur 8:25 PM
Cincinnati Bengals at Minnesota Vikings: Sun 1:00 PM
New York Jets at New Orleans Saints: Sun 1:00 PM
Dallas Cowboys at Oakland Raiders: Sun 8:30 PM