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Fan Rooting Guide: Who Steelers fans should root for in Week 17

Steeler fans know who to root against week-in and week-out. But this week can impact the entire playoff landscape.

NFL: New England Patriots at New York Jets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

We’re all aware of the significance of seeding. The Steelers have a chance to get the top seed throughout and the home field advantage in the playoffs, but they have to beat winless Cleveland and get help. Here’s a guide to other significant matchups and whose losses the Steelers would benefit from more this weekend.

If the season ended today, the Steelers would have the second seed in the AFC. Here are the current AFC playoff standings.

  1. New England Patriots 12-3 (Would win AFC East and get a First Round Bye)
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers 12-3 (Would win AFC North and get a First Round Bye)
  3. Jacksonville Jaguars 10-5 (Would win AFC South and host Wild Card Baltimore)
  4. Kansas City Chiefs 9-6 (Would win AFC West and host Wild Card Tennessee)
  5. Baltimore Ravens 9-6 (Would earn Wild Card and travel to Kansas City)
  6. Tennessee Titans 8-7 (Would earn Wild Card and travel to Jacksonville)
  7. Los Angeles Chargers 8-7
  8. Buffalo Bills 8-7
  9. Miami Dolphins 6-9 (Eliminated)
  10. Cincinnati Bengals 6-9 (Eliminated)
  11. Oakland Raiders 6-9 (Eliminated)
  12. Denver Broncos 5-10(Eliminated)
  13. New York Jets 5-10 (Eliminated)
  14. Houston Texans 4-11(Eliminated)
  15. Indianapolis Colts 3-12 (Eliminated)
  16. Cleveland Browns 0-15 (Eliminated)

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens: Sunday at 1:00 PM

Who to root for: Baltimore is in with a win and could benefit the Steelers if they were in. The Ravens have the ability to take out both New England and Jacksonville. However, seeing Harbaugh home in the new year is enticing to me. Let the Steelers take care of their own business. This makes me feel dirty...but Go Bengals.

New York Jets at New England Patriots: Sunday at 1:00 PM

Who to root for: The Pats own the tiebreaker over the Steelers, the only chance for the Steelers to get home field advantage throughout the playoffs is for the Jets to pull off a miracle.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans: Sunday at 1:00 PM

Who to root for: This is complicated. The Jags are locked into the third seed and the Titans don't seem like much of a threat in the playoffs. The Titans, with a win, would have to turn around and beat Jax again in Florida a week later. Thiis game doesn't really mean much for the Steeler cause, but I'd rather see a team in the sixth spot with more of a legit chance to dusrupt things in the playoffs. Jacksonville would be my pick, but a Tennessee win is a part of "the Ravens demise with a loss" scenario. So, I'm rooting for Tennessee.

Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins: 4:25 PM

Who to root for: The Bills are a long shot to make the playoffs and seem more like a one-and-done team if they get in. But a Bills/Titans win combined with a Ravens loss can oust Baltimore altogether. Circle the wagons with Buffalo.

Oakland Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers: 4:25 PM

Who to root for: The Chargers can possibly shock Jacksonville in the first round if they were to sneak in. Go LA.

Other Week 17 contests featuring an AFC foe:
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (Sun 1:00 PM)
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos (Sun 4:25 PM)