The Texans and Colts game is practically an early playoff game. If one of these teams wins (avoiding a tie), they will make it to the NFL Playoffs. The loser wouldn’t have a chance to make the postseason. Both of these teams also have a shot at winning the AFC South with a win and a Jacksonville Jaguars loss.
C.J. Stroud returning after missing the previous two games. It got them back on the winning track in Week 17 after a loss to the Cleveland Browns the previous week. He has been the rookie quarterback to watch so far this season with 21 touchdowns to only five interceptions. He is also only 166 passing yards away from 4,000 passing yards.
Meanwhile, the Colts have won six of their past eight games to rally to this point. Gardner Minshew has done an acceptable job filling in for rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson. They have the 10th-best scoring offense in the NFL, averaging 23.6 points per game.
The Ravens have the No. 1 seed locked up and will probably be playing plenty of backups giving some starters some rest. The Steelers don’t have that luxury. Their best chance at making the postseason is winning and then needing some help. They would then need the Bills or Jaguars to lose their games. If the Colts and Texans end in a tie, it would also get Pittsburgh in.
There is a slight possibility the Steelers can make the playoffs with a loss. They would then need the Texans and Colts game to not end in a tie, a Jaguars loss, and then a Denver Broncos win.
It isn’t hard to imagine the Steelers actually fighting for a playoff berth should be able to handle the Ravens second string with their eyes set on a bye week.
Here is who our staff is taking.
This will also be today’s open thread, so come join the fun!