Either Steelers Or Raiders Will Make NFL Playoffs
Either the Steelers or Raiders will make the NFL playoffs.
They’re both very underrated and never talked about by the casual fan, and they’ve each manage to get to 4-4 through 8 games. These 2 teams have quite a bit in common. Let’s take a look at their similarities.
They’re in the AFC
This one is pretty self explanatory. The NFC is absolutely loaded, especially in the 2nd tier, so any team at or below .500 is virtually eliminated at this point. The AFC is obviously different, with only 6 teams above .500 and 3 teams with 1 or 0 wins, there’s plenty of chances for teams lower in the conference to make a run at the playoffs.
Weak remaining schedules
Weak might be an understatement for the schedules of these 2 teams. 3 remaining games for the Steelers jump off the page; against the Rams, against the Bills, and at the Ravens.
The Steelers could realistically win both, if not all 3 if Baltimore elects to rest their starters week 17. 12-4 may actually be doable for them. And for Oakland, the only game they’ll probably lose is at Kansas City, and no other game really strikes fear in them.
Battled past key losses
There’s a reason Oakland paid Antonio Brown the big bucks. He was a top 5 receiver and could have made Derek Carr look like 2016 MVP candidate Derek Carr.
And the Steelers have relied upon Ben Roethlisberger for over a decade. But Daren Waller has emerged as Carr’s #1 target and a star and Mason Rudolph has also done well at distributing the ball to his playmakers while limiting his turnovers.
Emerging young superstars
Josh Jacobs fits this title perfectly for Oakland. He was a 2 star recruit coming out of high school with no D1 offers. He walked on to Alabama and caught Nick Saban’s eye.
Saban gave him the reps and Jacob’s delivered, and he eventually became a first round pick. Jacobs hasn’t disappointed, is top 10 in yards per attempt, top 5 in broken tackles and yards after contact, and has the 3rd lowest average time spent behind the line of scrimmage.
He has the making to be one of the best RBs in the NFL very soon. And for Pittsburgh, we find their player, or rather players, on defense in TJ Watt and Devin Bush. Bush has the making of the next great Steeler inside linebacker, which they have been lacking since Ryan Shazier went down last year. And TJ Watt, to put it simply, has looked even better than his brother this year, and that really says something.
We’ll learn who they are this week
A loss would put these teams 2 games behind the 6th seeded Colts (assuming they can beat Miami), and they’re both going up against teams good but not great they can’t afford to overlook: Pittsburgh plays the Rams and Oakland plays the Chargers. Will either of these teams make the playoffs? Their game this week may just give us a definitive ‘yes’ or ‘no’.