It’s only Week 12 of the 2020 NFL season and yet the Pittsburgh Steelers have a chance to be the first team to clinch a playoff berth.
According to the NFL on Tuesday, the Steelers can clinch a playoff berth in Week 12 by beating the Baltimore Ravens Thursday night and then having the Las Vegas Raiders and Miami Dolphins both lose or tie on Sunday, as long as both don’t tie.
The Steelers are favored to win at home on Thursday night against the Ravens. The Steelers are also 6-1 at home on Thursday nights all-time under head coach Mike Tomlin. Their only home Thursday night loss under Tomlin came against the Ravens in 2015 and without then-injured starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger playing. They lost that Thursday night home game to the Ravens 23-20 in overtime.
As for the 6-4 Raiders in Week 12, they are scheduled to play the 3-7 Atlanta Falcons on the road on Sunday. The 6-4 Dolphins, on the other hand, are scheduled to play the 0-10 New York Jets on the road on Sunday. As you would probably expect, the Raiders and Dolphins are both favored to win their Week 12 games.
At a minimum, the Steelers can eliminate the Ravens from possibly winning the AFC North division on Thursday night if they beat them at Heinz Field. Additionally, a Steelers win on Thursday night, combined with a Cleveland Browns Sunday road loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, would create a scenario where Pittsburgh could possibly clinch the AFC North division in Week 13.