STEELERS CONTROL THEIR DESTINY FOR PLAYOFFS
The Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5) exploded with a 25 point 4th quarter, en route to a decisive 42-21 win over the Cincinnati Bengals (8-4-1) on Sunday afternoon.
The significance of the win is the Steelers at 8-5 on the season and 7-3 in the conference, control their destiny for a playoff berth. Pittsburgh currently sits 5th in the conference due to their conference record, owning tiebreakers over the Ravens (8-5, 4-5) and Chargers (8-5, 6-4). Baltimore’s 4-5 conference record is problematic for them right now in tiebreakers vs the Steelers, Chargers.
Win out and the Steelers claim their first AFC North Title since 2010.
As the Steelers control their own destiny, this is a football team where week to week it’s been a roller coaster season.
The schedule the rest of the way is no cupcake. Pittsburgh goes to Atlanta in week 15 and while the Falcons sit at 5-7 going into tonight’s matchup against Green Bay, they are playing for the NFC South crown and Pittsburgh has struggled on the road this season.
Anytime the Steelers face an above average to elite quarterback with great offensive weapons around him like Matt Ryan has, the Steelers are going to be in for a tough one. Offensively the Steelers project to pose a lot of problems for the Falcons defense but it’s the same story for Atlanta, which could have a field day against the Steelers secondary.
Pittsburgh has opened up as 1.5 point road favorites for now.
The Steelers then finish the season at home against Kansas City (7-6) and Cincinnati (8-4-1). As it’s been all season, it’s won’t be a surprise if the Steelers go 3-0 the rest of the way or 0-3.
AFC PLAYOFF PICTURE
1. New England Patriots (10-3)
2. Denver Broncos (10-3)
3. Indianapolis Colts (9-4)
4. Cincinnati Bengals (8-4-1)
5. Pittsburgh Steelers(8-5) – Wins tie breaker over San Diego based on best win percentage in conference games (7-3 to 6-4). Wins tie break over Baltimore based on best win percentage in division games).
6. San Diego Chargers (8-5) – wins tiebreaker over Baltimore based on head to head win
7. Baltimore Ravens (8-5)
8. Houston Texans (7-6)
9. Miami Dolphins (7-6)
10. Kansas City Chiefs (7-6)
Buffalo Bills (7-6)
12. Cleveland Browns (7-6)