The Pittsburgh Steelers have a pretty important game on their plate on Sunday, arguably the biggest game left on their schedule—or the second-biggest, presumably, potentially pending the results of another game. The Buffalo Bills are likely the best team Pittsburgh has to play from here on out, but the Cleveland Browns will host them in the finale, and the division could still be in play at that point.
The Baltimore Ravens could do them a huge favor by handing them a loss, however, this coming week. After stopping a three-game slide that saw their divisional hopes vanish into impossibility, Baltimore is fighting tooth and nail just to stamp a ticket into the postseason. They are currently on the outside looking in.
“Most importantly, it’s win or go home for us right now”, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson said after his team’s win on Tuesday. “We’re just going out there and just putting our all out there on the line for one another. That’s just joy for me. And like I said before, being around my guys, being back out there … Being away for two weeks, it felt like a whole year. It’s just a joy – joyful day and joyful time for me”.
While it’s not technically in win-or-go-home territory yet for Baltimore, it is fast approaching it, because they are currently the ninth seed in the conference and can ill afford to lose any ground. Everybody currently slated to make the postseason has a better record.
The Browns own the top wildcard seed right now at 9-3, while both the Miami Dolphins and the Indianapolis Colts are locked in for the other two at 8-4. The Las Vegas Raiders have the same 7-4 record as does Baltimore, but they have a significantly better conference record with two fewer losses. Meanwhile, the New England Patriots, to whom they lost, are just a game and a half behind them at 6-7 even after last night’s loss, and can’t be forgotten about.
They do stand to get some help this week, as the Raiders and Colts play each other, so one has to lose. The Dolphins also play the Kansas City Chiefs, who only have one loss, so a win over Cleveland could result in it being a good week for them in making progress.
The Raiders and Dolphins also play each other a week later, while the Colts play the Houston Texans and the Steelers over the following two weeks, and the Tennessee Titans, who could come into play, have the Green Bay Packers in week 16 and close out the year against the Texans.
Of course, the Bills and Dolphins also face off in the season finale, while the Raiders get the Broncos and the Colts play the Jaguars. The Patriots also play the Dolphins again, and also have to play the Bills in the finale, so there is still a lot of movement left if Baltimore can keep winning, on a schedule that features the Jaguars, the Giants, and the Bengals in the final three weeks.