Of course, the home game against the Raiders this weekend is the most important game on the schedule for Steelers’ Nation. Despite it being early in the season, fans need to look at all other team’s as threats to their postseason aspirations, Thus, the Rooting Guide. Sure, the Steelers have to win to be contenders, but it’s never to early to try to get an early advantage on the competition in the AFC. So 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.
Here are the current AFC Power Rankings (ESPN)
- Kansas City Chiefs (Last Week: 1 - No change)
- Buffalo Bills (Last Week: 2 - No change)
- Cleveland Browns (Last Week: 4 - Up 1 spot)
- Pittsburgh Steelers (Last Week: 6 - Up 2 spots)
- Baltimore Ravens (Last Week: 3 - Down 2 spots)
- Los Angeles Chargers (Last Week: 8 - Up 2 spots)
- Miami Dolphins (Last Week: 9 - Up 2 spots)
- Indianapolis Colts (Last Week: 7 - Down 1 spot)
- New England Patriots (Last Week: 10 - Up 1 spot)
- Tennessee Titans (Last Week: 5 - Down 5 spots)
- Las Vegas Raiders (Last Week: 11 - No change)
- Denver Broncos (Last Week: 12 -No change)
- Cincinnati Bengals (Last Week: 13 - No change)
- Houston Texans (Last Week: 16 - Up 2 spots)
- New York Jets: (Last Week: 15 - No change)
- Jacksonville Jaguars (Last Week: 14 - Down 2 spots)
Last week the Rooting Guide was 5-5, but the losses were in less significant matchups with the Bills, Browns, Ravens, Patriots and Titans all going down. Who is the RG targeting this week? Well Here We GO!!!!
Cincinnati Bengals at Chicago Bears - Sunday 1 PM (FOX)
It’s easy to say go ahead and cheer against the Bungles of the Queen City. Sure, we know to do that most every week. But the funny thing about the Rooting Guide remains that a lot of times you’re rooting for the Bengals to win in your own division when they are playing the likes of Baltimore and Cleveland. It feels grimy, but you have to do it for Steelers’ sake. But it’s a no-brainer this week after Cincy beat Minnesota in Week 1. A young team with firepower can’t get too much confidence. The only problem is that Chicago does not seem like a very good football team right now. So getting help from the club from the Windy City might not happen.
Who to root for: Chicago Bears
Houston Texans at Cleveland Browns - Sunday 1 PM (CBS)
Sure Houston won last week, but don’t get too excited. They are going to challenge for the number-one draft pick. Throw in the fact that the hated Cleveland Browns lost due to a few late gaffes in Kansas City and you have a potential for an explosion of points from the home team Browns. That would suck. We all need as many losses out of Cleveland to feel comfortable. The RG says to keep trying and Gooooooooooooooo Texans!
Who to root for: Houston Texans
Los Angeles Rams at Indianapolis Colts - Sunday 1 PM (FOX)
I said last week on the Rooting Guide that I wasn’t quite sure about the Indianapolis Colts. They have a good defense, but I just don’t know what you’re getting with that offense and Carson Wentz. Seattle got off the ground early against Frank Reich’s Colts and never looked back. This week they’re facing a dangerous offense from the NFC once again. Indy could be running away from a boulder and get into an 0-2 hole early in the season with a loss here. That benefits the AFC and the Steelers when it comes to playoff seeding should the Steelers be eligible.
Who to root for: Los Angeles Rams
Denver Broncos at Jacksonville Jaguars - Sunday 1 PM (CBS)
The Broncos got a win last week to start their season at 1-0 and they are another team with a good defense and and unproven offensive unit. However, they seem to have found their footing with Teddy Bridgewater and Melvin Gordon leading the way. Here’s another team that you don’t want to see with a boost of confidence. Jacksonville seems like a mess again and I don’t see them being too much of a factor this season. But you have got a root for them here anyways.
Who to root for: Jacksonville Jaguars
Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins - Sunday 1 PM (FOX)
At the risk of seeing the Dolphins going to 2-0 and being competition in playoff placement and seeding, you still need a root for them here. Just like the Browns, the Bills are a good football team and that loss last week is not going to sit well. They are going to win a lot of games this season despite falling in the opener, they need to lose more. Plus, seeing sad Bills Mafia faces is definitely a goal of mine.
Who to root for: Miami Dolphins
New England Patriots at New York Jets - Sunday 1 PM (CBS)
This game doesn’t mean way too much for for Steelers’ sake. But it’s nice to see the Patriots lose. If they can do it early enough then, that’s awesome. So the Rooting Guide says J-E-T-S. Jets, Jets, Jets!
Who to root for: New York Jets
Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Chargers - Sunday 4:25 PM (CBS)
I really think that the Los Angeles Chargers are going to be a force in the AFC very soon. They beat the WFT last week, but Dallas should be a tougher task. If they can conquer the Cowboys, the future may be accelerated and they could be a major postseason threat now. So as much as I know you hate to, you gotta cheer vociferously for the fake America’s team here.
Who to root for: Dallas Cowboys
Tennessee Titans at Seattle Seahawks - Sunday 4:25 PM (CBS)
One of the biggest surprises last week was watching the Tennessee Titans fall at home to Arizona. This was supposed to be the year that they put it all together and reached the next level and possibly Super Bowl glory. The season is definitely not over after one week and the Titans are a very good team still. Seattle’s offense is tough and the Tennessee defense still pales in comparison to the offense. An 0-2 hole early for the Men from Music City would be nice for everybody else, so be the 12th man and root for the Sea Chickens.
Who to root for: Seattle Seahawks
Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens - Sunday 8:20 PM (NBC)
I hate rooting for Kansas City. But the Ravens need to remain winless, so it actually becomes quite easy. KC will be on the opposite end of the rooting guide a lot going forward, but for now it’s easy to do.
Who to root for: Kansas City Chiefs
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: