Each game that the Steelers take the field, it’s about winning and not losing. That doesn’t always occur, but with the goal always being the playoffs... the other games become about seeding and matchups. Even though it’s not the Black & Gold playing due to the bye, other contests still matter to Steelers Nation and we assume the Steelers will start winning more for the sake of this exercise. Here’s a guide to other significant matchups, and whose losses the Steelers would benefit from more.
Here are the current AFC Power Rankings (ESPN)
- Buffalo Bills 4-2 (Last Week: 1 - No change)
- Baltimore Ravens 5-1 (Last Week: 3 - Up 1 spot)
- Los Angeles Chargers 4-2 (Last Week: 2 - Down 1 spot)
- Kansas City Chiefs 3-3 (Last Week: 5 - Up 1 spot)
- Tennessee Titans 4-2 (Last Week: 7 - Up 2 spots)
- Cincinnati Bengals 4-2 (Last Week 6: No Change)
- Cleveland Browns 3-3 (Last Week: 4 - Down 3 spots)
- Las Vegas Raiders 4-2 (Last Week: 10 - Up 2 spots)
- Pittsburgh Steelers 3-3 (Last Week: 11 - Up 2 spots)
- Denver Broncos 3-3 (Last Week: 8 - Down 2 spots)
- New England Patriots 2-4 (Last Week: 9 - Down 2 spot)
- Indianapolis Colts 1-5 (Last Week: 12 - No Change)
- Miami Dolphins 1-5 (Last Week: 13 - No Change)
- New York Jets 1-4 (Last Week: 14 - No Change)
- Jacksonville Jaguars 1-5 (Last Week: 16 - Up 1 spot)
- Houston Texans 1-5 (Last Week: 15 - Down 1 spot)
Denver Broncos at Cleveland Browns - Thursday 8:20 PM -(FOX/NFLN/AMAZON)
The Browns are absolutely depleted this week, but even without Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt and a list that goes on and on like Uncle Leo talking about Cousin Jeffrey’s accomplishments in the Park’s Department… you can still never count these dogs out. The visiting Broncos are a mess too. With Teddy Bridgewater most-likely back, there is hope that Denver can win on the road. But the Cleveland backup, Case Keenum, is tough too. In the end, I still doubt the Browns are going to be flushed down. If they are victorious, it’s not the worst thing for the Steelers with them going head-to-head next week. As you know, a desperate team on a losing streak is dangerous.
Who to root for: Denver Broncos
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens - Sunday 1 PM (CBS)
Here’s always where the Rooting Guide gets interesting and a little bit complicated. The Ravens are on a major lucky streak right now. But teams need to be good to taste fortune. The Bengals seem to have a horseshoe in their cleats as well. The good news is that, barring a tie, one of these teams will lose. For the Steelers right now, a Bengals loss might actually be more beneficial for their playoff aspirations. However, the Rooting Guide points to the team with more wins and the team that needs their momentum quelled.
Who to root for: Cincinnati Bengals
Atlanta Falcons at Miami Dolphins - Sunday 1 PM (FOX)
Bryan Flores’ Miami Dolphins are pretty much a mess right now after losing to Jacksonville in London last Sunday. Are they a threat to anybody right now? Not really. But they are playing an NFC team, so the Rooting Guide insists that AFC dwellers remain in the cellar.
Who to root for: Atlanta Falcons
New York Jets at New England Patriots - Sunday 1 PM (CBS)
It’s a tale as old as time, root against the Patriots and see them fall further and further into the AFC abyss. But there is risk involved, a losing Pats team could cause us all to regret it when Bill Belichick is picking in the Top 5 of the Draft come April.
Who to root for: New York Jets
Kansas City Chiefs at Tennessee Titans - Sunday 1 PM (CBS)
Sure the Titans have a better record, but the Chiefs have the ability to explode. The Steelers may be competing with KC for a Wild Card, while it looks like Tennessee is a given to win their division.
Who to root for: Tennessee Titans
Philadelphia Eagles at Las Vegas Raiders - Sunday 4:05 PM (FOX)
This is a conundrum for me but not for the RG. I despise the Eagles and everything about the organization, even the certain color of green that they sport and I love green. I also despise the Raiders, but a lot less with the recent resignation of Jon Gruden. But the Raiders have a tiebreaker over the Steelers and at 4-2, essentially have a two-game advantage over Pittsburgh. So Philly, help your state mates and get revenge for Super Bowl XV.
Who to root for: Philadelphia Eagles
Houston Texans at Arizona Cardinals - Sunday 4:25 PM (CBS)
Sure Houston is an AFC team, but the Cardinals are undefeated and have a few ex-Texans on their team. Houston is not really a threat to many in the AFC, so winning here would just be a great feel-good story.
Who to root for: Houston Texans
Indianapolis Colts at San Francisco 49ers - Sunday 8:20 PM (NBC)
The Colts have had a horrible start to their 2021 season at 1-5. That kind of needs to keep going against an NFC team. The further down, the better for a team that could go on a run and get back into the picture.
Who to root for: San Francisco 49ers
Who do you like in these games for yinzer’s sake? Let us know in the comment section in this article or on BTSC social media. If you want more explanation to these picks check out the new Rooting Guide podcast below: