Other than the Steelers own matchup, there are other games which will determine the AFC playoff landscape on Sunday.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are moving into the 2020 NFL postseason, although there is still a lot to be determined when it comes to the #2 though #7 seeds in the AFC. Not only will the Steelers game in Cleveland help to determine seeds, there are several other games which will help things fall into place. Which 3 of the remaining games mean the most to the Steelers before the postseason?
At the suggestion of one of our faithful BTSC community members, I’m going to include a brief rundown of the previous week’s three games in question to see how they helped shape the narrative of the Steelers 2020 season.
Cleveland Browns (16) at New York Jets (23)
I don’t know if anybody saw this one coming, even though the Browns were without most of their wide receivers. What was crazy is how the Cleveland Browns running game was completely shut down in the first half. The Browns actually matched the Steelers with 4 first half rushing yards. While they tried to scrape their way back into the game, the Browns just couldn’t do it. It’s interesting to think a late-season loss to the Jets could factor in to keeping the Browns out of the playoffs.
Tennessee Titans (14) at Green Bay Packers (40)
Most people realized the Tennessee Titans defense was lacking in 2020, but after Sunday night there is no doubt left. Yes, the Packers are a good offense but the Titans seemed completely outmatched in the blizzard. Perhaps a Week 17 matchup against the Texans will be exactly what the Titans need to get right and qualify for the postseason.
Buffalo Bills (38) at New England Patriots (9)
There was a chance the Patriots could possibly give the Bills a game and set the Steelers up for controlling their own destiny when it came earning the number two seed in the AFC playoffs. But the Bills dominated this game, and now they can cruise into the postseason.
Now that we have closed the page on Week 16 of the NFL season, it’s time to get focused on the next set of games as there is little time in the NFL to dwell on the previous week. For Week 17, here are the three games which could give the most perspective on who the Steelers will face on Wild Card Weekend:
Sunday 1:00 PM on CBS
Of all the playoff scenarios, this game and means the most to the Steelers other than their own game because it features two teams who would currently be in the playoffs if they started before Week 17. If the Dolphins pull out of victory, the Steelers have a chance at the number two seed. Regardless, the outcome of this game and the Steelers game will carry the most weight in determining the Steelers Wild Card opponent.
Sunday 1:00 PM on CBS
Not only is this game important for determining the seeds of the Wild Card teams, it could very well contain the Steelers first playoff opponent. If both the Steelers and Bills lose on Sunday, the Ravens would face the Steelers the following week with a victory over the Bengals. If either Buffalo or Pittsburgh win, the only way the Steelers would face the Ravens is if they were to lose to the Bengals along with other various combinations.
Sunday at 4:25 PM on CBS
The reason I chose this game over the game between the Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans is because it’s more likely the Steelers would face the Colts then they would the Titans in the postseason. Also, if the Steelers defeat the Browns on Sunday, this game will become of even more interesting at 4:25 PM as it could keep Cleveland out of the postseason.
So there are the three main matchups which will give Steelers fans the information needed for rolling into the playoffs. Not only will these games determine the Steelers opponent, it should shape the quality of play with all the playoff teams.
So which of these games will be the most telling as it pertains to upcoming playoff games of the 2020 Pittsburgh Steelers? Make sure you vote in the poll and give your thoughts in the comments below.