Talking about the playoffs

<b>PITTSBURGH - </b> There is some question as to who Steelers fans should be rooting for when the Baltimore Ravens travel to New England this weekend to face the Patriots. <br><br> It is difficult and complex question, but one I have no problem tackling. <br><br> Root for injuries. No, not really.

Steelers fans should be rooting the Patriots at this point. Here's why. At 7-3, Baltimore is still close enough to the Steelers to win the AFC North championship should the Steelers stumble a couple of times down the stretch. And considering the Ravens already handed the Steelers a 30-13 loss in Baltimore earlier this season, they don't want the division title to be decided by their game with Baltimore at Heinz Field Dec. 26.

That's a good enough reason, but there's more.

Looking at the way the AFC playoff race is shaping up, the Steelers might be better as the No. 2 seed heading into the postseason than they would as the No. 1.


Mark my word, you don't want to have to play the Indianapolis Colts and Peyton Manning unless you have to. And if the playoffs began today, the Steelers, as the AFC's top seed, would face the winner of a Baltimore-Indianapolis matchup. New England, the second seed, would come off the bye week to face either Denver or the Jets. Which matchup sounds better to you?

If the Patriots get past the Ravens this week, their remaining schedule is ridiculously easy, with only a game against the Jets in New York looking like one they may lose.

And the way everyone else's schedule looks, unless somebody has a major injury, the seeding in the AFC won't change dramatically.

One more reason to hope New England finishes No. 1 and the Steelers No. 2? We've seen Bill Cowher and the Steelers at home four times for an AFC Championship game. And three of those games have ended badly. Do you really want to see another?

The Steelers would be better served letting the Patriots deal with Manning or the Ravens defense in their first playoff game and then take their chances that they can physically dominate the Patriots in Foxboro the way they did at Heinz Field earlier this season.
  • Hines Ward is going to have a huge game Sunday against Washington. Ward realizes he didn't play well last week at Cincinnati and he knows that some people think it is because Plaxico Burress was out.

    Ward wants to prove to those people that he is the man who makes the Steelers' offense go. And he will do that Sunday.

  • The Steelers offensive line should also have a chip on its collective shoulder this week after giving up seven sacks against the Bengals.

    Yeah, some of those sacks were Ben Roethlisberger's fault for not getting rid of the ball. But at the same time, the line takes pride in keeping the quarterback upright. And there was little to be proud of regarding that win over the Bengals.

  • I know it's Thanksgiving and all, but do people really care what the Steelers are thankful for?

    I know I'm thankful I don't have to hear another slappy television reporter ask a player what he's thankful for, something that I've had to listen to for the last 12 freaking years.

    Now I only have to wait and hear what they all want for Christmas.

  • I hope all of you have a great Thanksgiving and enjoy watching Thursday's games. Think about those poor wretches in Dallas, Detroit and Chicago who have very little to cheer for the rest of this season.

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