The Pittsburgh Steelers will now have a first-round bye in this year’s playoffs thanks to their Monday road win against the Houston Texans. It will be the team’s first playoff bye since 2010, which just so happens to be the last year they went to the Super Bowl.
“You know we’re not really thinking about that right now,” Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said during his post game press conference about now have a first-round bye in the playoffs. “I understand what it means because I’ve been in this business a long time, but we’re getting ready for the Cleveland Browns.”
The Steelers will indeed need to be prepared to play the Cleveland Browns next Sunday at home as they still have a very small shot at securing home field advantage throughout the playoffs. For that to happen, however, the New York Jets must beat or tie the New England Patriots next Sunday and the Steelers must beat the Browns at home. The Patriots secured a first-round playoff bye on Sunday with their home win over the Buffalo Bills.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of the Steelers now securing a first-round playoff bye is the fact that it will now give wide receiver Antonio Brown an extra week to recover from the serious left calf injury that he suffered a week ago Sunday in the team’s loss to the Patriots.
Brown, who suffered a significant lower left leg contusion against the Patriots, according to Tomlin, attempted to walk on his own for the first time since suffering his injury on Sunday. The hope now is that hell be ready to play again in the Divisional Round of the playoffs in a game that will be played at Heinz Field.