Don’t look now, but the Steelers may be playing a couple home games in the postseason if they can take care of business over the next three weeks.
Everything in week 15 that could go right for the Steelers did. Now all the team has to do is go out and play a solid 60 minutes of football Monday night.
If they do, they will wake up Tuesday as the number one seed in the AFC, and if they beat the 2-12 Rams and 4-10 Browns in the final two weeks, their path to making it back to the Super Bowl will go through Pittsburgh.
Here’s what happened Sunday to put the Steelers in the drivers seat of the AFC:
1. The Ratbirds Laid a Major Egg in San Diego - The Ravens, who have the tiebreaker over the Steelers, lost badly to San Diego 34-14 and slip to 10-4. The loss means that as of right now, the Steelers are 1/2 game up on the Ravens, and if they beat the Niners, they will be one game up with a path to homefield.
“Now they know, if they win tomorrow, they can control things,” former Colts coach Tony Dungy said on the NBC post game. “I believe Mike Tomlin will tell his defense, ‘our quarterback Ben Roethlsiberger won’t be 100 percent, and you may have to win it,’ and I believe you’ll see guys like Troy Polamalu step up and make plays. They have so much riding on this game, the difference between the number one seed and the number five seed.”
Now the pressure is back on the Steelers, as their path to homefield will be so much clearer one way or another after tomorrow night’s game.
A win, and they are almost for sure going to be the #1 seed. A loss, and it’s back to rooting for the Browns and Bengals, the last two teams that will play the Ravens.
2. Cam Newton and the Panthers Punked the Texans – Hosuton was the number one seed entering Sunday’s action, but were beat up at home by rookie sensation Cam Newton and the Panthers, who beat them 28-13. The loss puts Houston, like the Ravens, at 10-4, and they fall from the number one seed to the three seed, and they may have to now play wild card weekend at home against the sixth seed, which as of this moment is Rex Ryan and the New York Jets.
So as you can see, the Steelers control it all – but only if they come out and get a win in San Fran tomorrow night. As far as their QB playing – Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk stated in the NBC post game that with the Ravens losing, Big Ben has a much better chance of playing, since there’s now so much more on the line.