(KDKA)- The Steelers enter their Monday Night Football matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals in need of a reset after their first two losses of the season. To stay in the hunt for the top seed in the AFC, a win against the Bengals is crucial, but the next two weeks remain similarly important for both Pittsburgh and their most-heated division rival, the Baltimore Ravens.
The Ravens, at 9-5, sit just outside of the Wild Card in the AFC behind the Miami Dolphins and the Steelers next two opponents, the Indianapolis Colts (10-4) and Cleveland Browns (10-4). In order to make the postseason, the Ravens need one or both of those teams to lose their upcoming matchups with the Steelers which makes for a strange situation. Ravens fans are Steelers fans for the next two weeks. Something that Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh alluded to in his press conference Monday.
Harbaugh on being a Steelers fan for the next couple of weeks: "Of course. We want to get in the playoffs. We know we need some help. But the focus for us is taking care of our job."
— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiec) December 21, 2020
If the Steelers were to beat both the Colts and Browns, the Ravens could jump all the way up to the fifth seed in the AFC making for a date against, most likely, the Tennessee Titans. While the Steelers have concerns of their own, namely fighting to keep the second seed in the conference while hoping Kansas City loses twice, it is a bit ironic that they also hold the key for the Ravens to get into the playoffs.
If the Steelers were to lose both of those games, it’s highly unlikely the Ravens get higher than the seventh seed in the AFC. They would need the Browns to lose to the 1-13 New York Jets this Sunday and the Colts to lose to the 1-13 Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 17.
Baltimore doesn’t just need help from the Steelers however. Ravens fans will also have to be either Las Vegas Raiders fans (Week 16) or Buffalo Bills fans (Week 17) as those two teams face the Miami Dolphins in their remaining games. If Miami wins out and the Colts and Browns do as well, then the Ravens, even at 11-5, would miss the playoffs.
The Steelers may have a larger than normal fan base the next few weeks.