It’s New Years Day and also a Sunday, meaning Week 17 trumps the networks. The best part of today is that the lame BCS bowls are on hold for the NFL games. Wahhh wahhh. Well today could turn into the beginning of a very happy new year should the Steelers get a little help from the Browns and Bengals. So take off your New Year’s Eve apparel that you are still wearing when you passed out on your living room floor, and let’s talk some Steelers football.
The Steelers play the Brownies at 4:15 as do the Ravens and Bengals – the game that would have the highest impact in playoff seeding. The NFL flexed these schedules on purpose so that the nation could focus on these two games and both teams could do some scoreboard watching while trying to win their own games.
If the Steelers win and the Ravens lose to the Bengals, then the Steelers at the very least would have the #2 seed – which translates into a bye and a home game. Should also the Pats lose to the Bills (a 1pm game), then the Steelers would have the #1 seed in the AFC. Not likely of a scenario, but still possible because Brady may not play this game with his shoulder injury. The likeliest of scenarios will fall to the Ravens and Bengals. The Bengals have a simple win and your in scenario – even if the Jets and Titans win their games. That certainly ups the ante, which should motivate the Bengals enough to play hard against a team that has struggled on the road (3-4).
Because the playoff seeding favors the divisional winners, the Steelers need the Bengals to be the Bengals and not the Bungals. Otherwise, the Steelers will be the #5 seed and play the winner of the West division – Oakland or Denver. Ugh, last night’s Yuengling churns in my stomach just thinking about having to go into Denver and play Tebow. Although I did check the Chinese calendar and 2012 is not the year of the Tebow (something about God having to fend off the Mayan Calendar), so fortune would more than likely favor the Steelers in Denver.
I’ve been going back and forth with one of our readers on playoff reseeding. I would much rather see the Steelers play at home than on the road for any playoff game – but not because of chances of winning. I would much rather see a stadium full of Terrible Towels waving. I have complete confidence that the Steelers could win out on the road. This team historically faces adversity in different ways and finds ways to win games – especially during the playoffs. Unfortunately, the current seeding rules needs a Steelers and Bengals win for a home game to happen.
It should be one of the better weeks in football this Sunday with all the playoff implications. Be sure to join us this afternoon in our live chat. Enjoy your New Years football and may all of you have a joyous, prosperous and peaceful new year!