Rooting Interests: Week 12

Hypocycloid blocking view...cannot tell if turkey is done...

Oh, how I wish we weren't scoreboard-watching the out of town games with such apprehension these days. At first blush, I was annoyed with those people who claimed that a Steeler loss didn't hurt our chances as the rest of the AFC North fell as well Sunday. I preferred to wallow in my frustration and Winter Ale selection. But, aside from the morale hit and subsequent injury concerns, The Steelers still hold a playoff position as of now, one that would pit us against The Chargers in the opening round.

Amazingly, of the "Wild Card Teams" only Jacksonville and Miami won. Basically, Jacksonville took over Houston's spot and San Diego (who also won) supplanted Denver. Baltimore, Houston and Miami all remain one game away from our tenuously held playoff spot.

This breakdown of playoff teams and their remaining schedules is extremely informative, check it out. On to the games, team to root for in BOLD:

RAIDERS @ Cowboys
Importance: 0%

I'm only listing games that involve AFC teams as they're the ones that could potentially impact Steeler playoff prospects. That being said, this game doesn't matter fuckall to us. If the Raiders aren't mathematically eliminated yet they should be. I hate the Cowboys and must uphold my annual tradition of rooting against them whilst imbibing beer, wine, liquefied turkey fat, cider and nog. Love the nog.

GIANTS @ Broncos
Importance: 30%

As many predicted, no doubt, The Broncos lost this past Sunday and are looking like a team that peaked too early. With Kansas City twice *punches self* and Oakland remaining on their schedule, the Broncos remain a viable Wild Card Threat and should be rooted against as such. My guess is it's Denver or Jacksonville and if Denver can pull this game out, I'd give them the edge. Conversely, a loss here to NY at home would likely send them on their way toward implosion, every Bronco fan's worst nightmare. Again.

Dolphins @ BILLS
Importance: 25%

The Dolphins can take a small step toward threatening for a playoff spot with this game, but the truth is they're really living on borrowed time. Sitting at 5-5, four of their remaining games are against teams with winning records. I don't like the idea of rooting for T.O. but it's not like this game will really be on TV, either.

BROWNS @ Bengals
Importance: 40%

Brady Quinn had a QB Rating of 133 last week. He threw for 4 TDs. But, don't get sucked in to notion that he's morphed into a serviceable quarterback. It was against the Lions. And they lost. This'll be the game on tv in most of our homes, unfortunately. A win by the Brownies would be HA-YUGE for us, but I'm not ready to let myself think it's possible. But who knows, maybe something crazy will happen and it'll be worth watching....

Importance: 10%

The Jets are not making the playoffs. Not happening. But with Buffalo and Tampa Bay on the schedule after this game. A win over the Panthers and everyone will put them back "in the hunt." Just watch.

COLTS @ Texans
Importance: 40%

This is likely the most debate-inspiring game of the slate for Steelers fans. Do we want Indy to go undefeated? Of course not. Some will say that they're likely to lose one of their remaining games (Jacksonville? Denver?) but I'm becoming less sure about that. Perhaps the more pertinent question is: Do they look like a team that will win it all? To that, I say not really. Sure, they're winning the games but their are cracks in the facade and Manning's sulk was pretty heavy in Baltimore at times. But that's beside the point: The Texans need to lose. Despite having a somewhat bumpy schedule, they are a real threat to us. If Kris Brown could kick, The Texans would be in the Wild Card spot, not us.

CHIEFS @ Chargers
Importance: 20%

My rationale: If both San Diego and Denver lose then the only one will limp into the playoffs. But just looking at their schedule (KC, Cleveland & Washington) it's pretty clear that the Chargers are making the playoffs with at least 10 wins.

Jaguars @ 49ERS
Importance: 50%

This game will go a long way in determining Jacksonville's season. A win gives them a shot at holding on to their current Wild Card spot, something they essentially have to do with a daunting upcoming schedule. If they lose, they're out.

Importance: 10%

No way the Titans run the table an threaten for a Wild Card spot, but I'd just as soon clear that notion up now, before the media starts pimping it in a week or two.


Patriots @ SAINTS
Importance: 10%

It's getting hard to root against Brees & Co. Plus, Steeler hatred of all things Patriots is well documented. Again, I'm not too concerned with the idea of a team going undefeated through the regular season as a motivation for rooting one way or the other. There will be no shortage of hype (and turkey leftovers!) for this game and I'm betting it delivers.

To some degree, this all seems a bit moot as Steeler wins are the only thing that truly matter. But I am in need of rationalization of rabid alcohol consumption. Until next week.

1 comment:

Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls said...

That picture: Unofficial Steelers cheerleader outfit? Works for me.