When the 2015 NFL schedule was released, fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers looked at their post-bye week schedule and saw a murder's row.
Week 12: at the Seattle Seahawks
Week 13: vs. the Indianapolis Colts
Week 14: at the Cincinnati Bengals
Week 15: vs. the Denver Broncos
Week 16: at the Baltimore Ravens
Week 17: at the Cleveland Browns
As the season progressed, the scheduled certainly softened for Pittsburgh, and mainly due to the fact the stretch of games above were riddled with backup quarterbacks. Other than Russell Wilson, the Steelers have faced five straight backup quarterbacks.
It was Matt Hasselbeck rather than Andrew Luck in Week 13, Andy Dalton played one drive and gave way to AJ McCarron in Week 14, Peyton Manning was in street clothes as Brock Osweiler captained the Broncos in Week 15, and Joe Flacco's torn ACL gave way to Ryan Mallett in Week 16.
The Steelers' luck continues in Week 17 when they won't be facing backup quarterback Johnny Manziel, but Austin Davis.
This simple fact doesn't influence Steelers fans much, not after Mallett lit up the Pittsburgh secondary in Week 16 and helped the Ravens pull off an improbable upset victory last Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium which crippled the Steelers' chances of making the 2015 playoffs.
However, when Manziel threw for 372 and a touchdown the last time he played Pittsburgh, Austin Davis might just be the perfect medicine for the Steelers to do what they need to do on their end to make the playoffs. If the Buffalo Bills can beat the New York Jets, the Steelers might just have a recipe to do some damage in the postseason.