The Pittsburgh Steelers will host the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday night at Heinz Field in what figures to be the first of three very tough remaining games for the team. The other two tough teams remaining on the Steelers schedule after Sunday night are the New England Patriots in Week 15 and the New Orleans Saints in Week 16. With those remaining games noted, there’s an outside, yet realistic, chance that the Week 16 game against the Saints in New Orleans might ultimately be meaningless for the home team.
The Saints will help get Week 13 of the 2018 NFL regular season started Thursday night with a road game against the Dallas Cowboys. If you’re a Steelers fan hoping for the team’s Week 16 game against the Saints to ultimately be meaningless for the home team, you probably will want to cheer on New Orleans Thursday night against the Cowboys.
While the 10-1 Saints currently have the same record as the Los Angeles Rams, they own the head-to-head tiebreakers over the west coast team thanks to them beating them back in Week 9. For the Saints Week 16 game against the Steelers to become totally meaningless, New Orleans will need to have a full two-game lead over the Rams and a three-game lead over the Chicago Bears, who currently sport an 8-3 record.
The Rams will play the Detroit Lions on the road this Sunday while the Bears will play the New York Giants on the road. In Week 14, the Bears will host the Rams on Sunday night football while the Saints will play on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In Week 15 action, the Bears will host the Green Bay Packers while the Saints will host the Carolina Panthers. The Rams, on the other hand, will host the Philadelphia Eagles on that Sunday night.
Three consecutive wins by the Saints with their first coming Thursday night is not out of the question. Additionally, regardless of the outcome of the Rams versus Bears game in Week 14, that will also help move along a meaningless Week 16 game scenario for the Saints. Will the Rams lose two of their next three games? While unlikely, I don’t think it’s as far-fetched as many might think and especially if the Bears can beat them.
If, however, you’re a Steelers fan hoping to see a meaningful Week 16 game against the Saints, just cheer on the Cowboys to beat New Orleans Thursday night. A Saints loss to the Cowboys will all but guarantee that they’ll still have something to play for against the Steelers in Week 16.
By the way, the Saints can clinch a playoff berth Thursday night with a win over the Cowboys. The Rams can also clinch a playoff spot this weekend by merely beating the Lions.