When the Steelers take the field on Monday night, there will be many questions about their sprinting offenses and their tiring defense.
Even if coach Mike Tomlin’s team draws its two-game losing streak in Cincinnati, the fanbase will carry that result with a big grain of salt. Which might come in handy as you continue digging through this week’s winter storm.
This is because his rival, Neech Bengals (2-11-1), has scored only 50 points in his last five matches.
But one issue should be clear by Tuesday morning. The Steelers will be the AFC North champions, preventing a major fumble by the Bengals.
A victory by the Steelers would officially end the Cleveland Browns from divisional feud. The Steelers can also be selected when they take the field on Monday night, if the Browns lose to New York on Sunday evening.
So let’s have a look at that game and all the Contestants on this weekend who can influence the Steelers and their playoff match before Monday’s football match. “
AFC NorthernI am guessing that the Steelers will not get any assistance from their teams playing divisional fights on Sunday.
The defensive crisis shown by Brown (9-4) last Monday night in their 47–42 defeat to the Baltimore Ravens will not appear this week as they meet the Giants on Sunday night (5-8).
The position of Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is still unclear for the ankle problem. If he does not play, former Browns QB colt McCoy will have to start for New York. McCoy helped the Giants win when he spent time with Jones three weeks earlier in a 19–17 result over the Bengals. He then stunned the Seattle Seahawks with a 17–12 win and lost during a 26–7 loss to Arizona last week.
However, McCoy has averaged just 154 yards during those outings, and the Giants have averaged 14.3 points per game over the last three games.
Expect the brows to survive the division race for an additional 24 hours and improve their wild-card position. I have won Cleveland 29–14.
Meanwhile, the Ravens (8-5) cannot win the North as they lost to the Steelers twice. But they can still enter the playoffs. There is no doubt that they will make a move this weekend against the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-12).
I know that Gardner Minshaw is back for the Jugs. And I know that most of Baltimore’s receivers are on the Kovid-19 list. It will not make any difference. It would just encourage Lamar Jackson and company to run even more. The Ravens do it best anyway.
Ravens 33-16 roll.
Chiefs and BillsMost Pittsburgh feel the Kansas City Chiefs (12-1) are going to lose to the New Orleans Saints (10-3) this weekend, and that will keep the Steelers’ faint hopes alive. Top spot in the AFC playoff picture.
I have not. I think there are only two cities in America that are thinking in this regard with their hearts. Pittsburgh and New Orleans (10-3).
Kansas City is a 3.5-point favorite. I say they will win and cover.
But even if they don’t, the Steelers will still lag behind the majors in terms of tiebreakers as they defeated the Buffalo Bills and the Steelers didn’t.
So despite the loss to New Orleans, the Chiefs will still remain in the driver’s seat until they somehow lose to Atlanta (4-9) or Los Angeles Chargers (5-9).
Speaking of the Bills (10-3), they have a Saturday afternoon (4:30 pm ET) in Denver. The Broncos (5-8) can be tough. Especially at home. They are 5.5-point underdogs. They can cover. But I still prefer Bill to win No. 11 and be pulled within half the game of the Steelers for second place in the conference.
By the way, Buffalo’s last two games after Denver are not easy. But the Bills should win both. They are in Week 16 in New England. They then hosted the Miami Dolphins in Week 17.
AFC South: The Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans can’t shake each other.
They are both 9-4. They recently split a set of games against each other. They are tied for the divisional lead. But the Titans still have a great advantage based on an improved divisional record. They are 4–1 in the south. The Colts are 2-2.
Their programs are also similar to the vibe. They should win on Sunday. Indy hosts 4-9 Houston Texans. Tennessee welcomes 5-8 Lions.
They then play tough next week as the Colts have to come to Heinz Field and the Titans move to Green Bay (10-3).
Both clubs should be heavy favorites to win their final games in Week 17 as the Titans are home to Houston and the Colts welcome Jacksonville.
If you just guessed me, the Titans win two but lose to Green Bay to end at 11-5. Meanwhile, the Colts won all three. Yes, including beating the Steelers next week.
Until Ben Roethlisberger and company discover their anemic crime in a hurry. The Colts defense is sixth in the NFL in yards allowed per game (327.1). The Steelers rank 23rd in offensive yards per game (335.5).
Miami The dolphin: If the playoffs have just started and as you may have noticed, they will not be at the Dolphins (8-5) Heinz field on the first playoff weekend as the seventh seed. The Steelers will host him as the second seed behind Casey
Miami is a good story. But they will probably lose in Buffalo on January 3 and I think they will be upset this week when the Patriots arrive on Sunday afternoon. Won 23–21.
If I’m right about the Chiefs, Bills, and Colts’ sinking Dolphins, that means the Steelers will be the third or fourth seed based on what happens in their Week 17 game against the Browsers.
And they will host Baltimore, Tennessee or the Bruins in the first week of playoffs instead of Miami.
So, in other words, if you’re looking for the Steelers to get a lot of help this weekend before they close in Cincinnati on Monday night … don’t fret.
This week, I filled in for Mark Madden at 105.9. X ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler was on the show. We talked at length about the AFC playoff picture. I omitted some of his comments for Friday’s podcast.
Game | Steelers / NFL | Breakfast with Benz | Tim Benz Column