Despite their win last Sunday night against the Chiefs, the Steelers received almost no help in the other week 12 games to get some separation as far as the 2011 playoff picture goes. The Ravens, Bengals, Texans, Patriots, Raiders and Titans all won, and unfortunately the Bills did not knock off the Jets. The Steelers can certainly knock the Bengals out of the AFC North race with a win against them on Sunday, but let\’s look at a few other games in week 13 that could certainly help the Steelers inch even close to a playoff birth.
Browns Over Ravens – Yes, this one is an obvious one, but we have seen the Ravens lay several eggs this year after big wins. Can the Harbaugh Bowl be considered a big win? Judging by the Gatorade bath head coach John Harbaugh received after the win over his brother, I would say so. The Browns are going to win one of these four games remaining against the Ravens or the Steelers in my opinion and let\’s hope it is Baltimore. Josh Cribbs had some strong words this past week about hating to lose and hopefully it motivates Cleveland at home. I certainly am not holding my breath on this one. Any given Sunday, right?
Falcons Over Texans – The Falcons are still very much alive in the NFC playoff race and can still win the NFC South with a little help. The Texans are now down to T.J. Yates and Jake Delhomme at quarterback and they were only able to throw for 127 yards last week against the Jaguars even though wide receiver Andre Johnson was finally back from his hamstring injury. The Texans will try to ride their defense to the AFC South title and a first round bye in the playoffs with the Titans trying to close the gap behind them. The Falcons are favored on the road and it would not be shocking to see them hand the Texans their 4th loss.
Dolphins Over Raiders – The Dolphins really have played well as of late and their defense has allowed just 40 points over the last 4 games. The Raiders have won 3 straight now that Carson Palmer has settled in and this could be a tough game for them as they travel all the way down to South Florida with several key injuries on offense. The Dolphins are home favorites in this game and as long as Matt Moore does not turn the ball over, I think they can indeed win this one.
Bills Over Titans – The Titans can really almost be erased as a threat to the Steelers playoff chances should they lose to the Bills this week. The Bills played the Jets close last week and might have even won that game if Steve Johnson doesn\’t drop that late pass. After a good start to the season the Bills are 1-4 in their last 5 games while the Titans have been treading water at 3-2 in their last 5. The Bills are at home, and as expected, are favored.
Redskins Over Jets – While this is not very likely to happen, the Jets do have to go on the road to face the Redskins and they are 1-4 when not playing at home. Another loss by the Jets easily takes them completely out of the AFC East race and severely damages their Wild Card chances as well.
Vikings Over Broncos – What Tim Tebow has done over the last several weeks has been pretty fun to watch, but it is the Broncos defense that is not getting its share of credit as Von Miller has been taking over games for them. There is now enough tape on Tebow and the triple option that would suggest that the glass slipper could be removed from the Broncos this week if the Vikings can muster up 20 points somehow. Will Tebow ever lose?