Who To Root For: Steelers Or Bengals?


Ravens fans are in a real pickle when it comes to scoreboard watching Sunday.

Obviously they'll be pulling for a Baltimore win. But two division rivals – the Steelers and Bengals – are battling each other at the same time.

Who should Ravens fans root for during commercial breaks?

The answer is it doesn't matter right now. The best scenario is a split between the two teams in their two remaining games because they each need to take a loss. The Steelers and Bengals will play each other again in Week 17.

The AFC North division is still within reach with the Bengals 1.5 games ahead.

The Bengals must lose two games down the stretch to fall out of first place (if the Ravens win). That's certainly possible with Cincinnati having to face the Steelers twice, a road game against Cleveland (already lost to the Browns once) and Denver left on the schedule.

The Steelers are currently tied with the Ravens at 7-5, and are a major threat in the wild-card and division race. If they and the Ravens both won all four games remaining, the Steelers take the division crown. So they need to lose as well.

Pittsburgh doesn't have an easy final stretch either. In addition to the Bengals twice, the Steelers have to travel to NFC-South leading Atlanta and take on the Kansas City Chiefs at home.

Winning the division is the best route for the Ravens, and not only because it would guarantee a home playoff game. It's because Baltimore isn't in a good position in terms of tiebreakers.

The Ravens lost their head-to-head tiebreaker with the Chargers last weekend and split with the Steelers. The second tiebreaker for a wild-card spot is AFC record. The Ravens are currently behind in that department with a 3-5 conference record whereas the Steelers are 6-3.

So go ahead and don't root for anybody this weekend. In Week 17, you'll likely just have to root for the team that loses Sunday.

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