It’s only Tuesday, which means we have plenty of time to talk about the Pittsburgh Steelers’ upcoming matchup with the Tennessee Titans at Heinz Field on Sunday. Tuesday brought the unfortunate news that the Steelers would be without the services of James Harrison, the 2008 Defensive Player of the Year, for potentially 4-6 weeks due to the broken orbital bone he sustained during the team’s Week 4 loss to the Houston Texans.
The loss is a big blow to a Steelers team that can ill-afford to drop a third AFC game this early in the season. Of course, at the end of the day, the Steelers primary goal is to win the AFC North. But were Baltimore to win the division, the Steelers would fight for a Wild Card berth, which is determined by conference record in the event of a tie in the standings.
There’s a lot of football to be played before we can start talking about playoff positioning, but it’s worth keeping in mind this Sunday when the Tennessee Titans come to town. The Steelers already have two AFC losses — against Baltimore and Houston. Assuming either Tennessee or Houston wins the AFC South, the other might be in contention for one of those two precious Wild Card spots. The Steelers would need to finish a full game clear of either in order to get the nod and have their postseason ticket punched.
Here’s one tidbit of good news though for anyone that’s excessively alarmed by the 2-2 start to the season: in five of the past ten seasons, a team has advanced to the Super Bowl after starting out the year 2-2. Three of those clubs – 2001 Patriots (1-3), 2003 Patriots (2-2) and 2007 Giants (2-2) – went on to win the Super Bowl.
Stay tuned here and at Behind the Steel Curtain for more coverage leading up to Pittsburgh’s Week 5 showdown with the Titans.