The Pittsburgh Steelers will have an opportunity to secure a first-round playoff bye on Monday thanks to the Jacksonville Jaguars losing to the San Francisco 49ers 44-33 Sunday afternoon.
The Steelers, who will play the Houston Texans on the road Monday afternoon, can clinch a first-round playoff bye with either a win or a tie.
A first-round bye would be very beneficial for the Steelers for several obvious reasons with one of them being that it would give wide receiver Antonio Brown an extra week to recover from the left calf injury that he suffered last Sunday in the team’s Week 15 home loss to the New England Patriots.
Speaking of the Patriots, they beat the Buffalo Bills 37-16 at home on Sunday and that game included some questionable officiating calls that mostly went against the visiting team.
Assuming the Steelers beat the Texans on Monday, the Patriots would then likely need to beat the New York Jets at home next week in order to secure home field advantage throughout the playoffs. However, should the Steelers ultimately lose to the Texans on Monday then the Patriots would secure home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Steelers 2017 regular season finale will be against the Cleveland Browns and in all likelihood they’ll need to play all of their starters in that game.