The Pittsburgh Steelers don\’t play until Monday night so Steeler Nation can sit back on Sunday and watch several games that will continue to shape the AFC playoff picture. Below are six games to have your eyes on for pretty obvious reasons.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Oakland Raiders – The Raiders beat the Steelers earlier this season, but can they knock off the Ravens on the road as well? It is highly doubtful, especially being as the Raiders will be without running backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson in this game against a Ravens defense that is susceptible to the run. Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer will have to be perfect in this game and the Raiders defense will need to force a couple of turnovers in order to pull the upset. We won\’t hold out breath here, but stranger things have happened and Steeler fans have seen that first hand this season. Should the Raiders not get the job done, at least they will be out of the playoff picture for good as there is no way that they will run the table.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. New York Giants – The Giants are fresh off of their loss to the Steelers and will look to rebound against the Bengals. A loss by the Bengals would be their 5th in a row and 6th on the season and it would mean that they would likely need to run the table in order to have a shot at a Wild Card spot. In other words, a loss by the Bengals at home in this game, combined with a Steelers win Monday night, would pretty much have the Cincinnati faithful counting down the days until the Reds pitchers and catchers report to spring training.
San Diego Chargers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The Chargers are on the outside looking in right now and must travel to the east coast to play an upstart Buccaneers team with a hot running back in the form of Doug Martin. Both teams are 4-4 and can\’t afford to get their 5th loss this early on in the season. A loss by the Chargers could put them 2 games behind the Steelers, depending on what happens Monday night. Needless to say, we all should be hoping for another off day from Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers.
New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills – Let\’s face it, the Patriots are going to win the AFC East win the smoke clears, so knocking the Bills completely out of the playoff picture would not be a bad thing. That being said, a loss by the Patriots could come into play down the road should the Steelers wind up winning the AFC North. Either way the Steelers win here, so I why not cheer against the Patriots? That\’s also fun.
Miami Dolphins vs. Tennessee Titans – The Titans will be done eventually, so it would be alright to watch them take the Dolphins down a peg just in case it is needed down the road. This is a dog game for sure, so hopefully you only have to follow it on the computer.
Houston Texans vs. Chicago Bears – We all saw how the Green Bay Packers beat the Texans with offensive fire power so it would be nice to see the Bears show how to beat Houston with their defense. Really, this game isn\’t on my radar other than thinking it will be an entertaining game to watch. A loss by the Texans would not be a bad thing.
Enjoy the games.