In Pittsburgh today, the Pats will receive a nice Christmas gift no matter who wins. We should obviously root for the Steelers so that the Pats have a game and a half on the Broncos for the 1 seed in the AFC, but there’s a very real benefit to a Broncos win today. The Pittsburgh Steelers are a damn good team, clocking in at 7th overall in Football Outsiders’ DVOA rankings behind a 3rd ranked offense and a shocking ranking of 12th on defense. Given that the Jets won last night, which was huge, and the Chiefs cleaned up on the Ravens today, the Steelers could be on the playoff ropes heading into Week 16. Of course, the Pats might have to lose to the Jets next week for the Jets to stay ahead of the Steelers, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
For today, though, the Pats gain something important no matter who wins. Enjoy the game, because it’s a Sunday before a short holiday week and there’s a great game on TV, and you don’t have to stress over who wins. You should root for the Steelers, but don’t worry too much. Then again, if the game heads to overtime, you should be chewing your nails hoping for the overtime period to go scoreless, because a tie would be best.