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2011 NFL Playoffs Wild Card Round: Steelers Await Next Opponent

Eight NFL teams will square off this weekend, and one of the four that remains when all is said and done will face the Pittsburgh Steelers in the divisional round next week. Coming up today are the Saints and Seahawks at 4:30 and Jets and Colts at 8:00. If the Colts win, they will play the Steelers next week; if the Jets win, the Steelers will play the winner of Sunday's Ravens-Chiefs matchup.

The Steelers are capable of beating either the Jets or the Colts, so I'm not sure the specific result of their matchup matters a lot today from the perspective of a Steelers fan. Of the four AFC teams in the Wild Card round, the Ravens are probably the most dangerous, so maybe the thing to do would be to root for the Chiefs and the Jets. That would mean the Steelers would get a good matchup against the run-heavy Chiefs, and the Jets would take on the Patriots. The Patriots are a much better team, obviously, but the Jets are in the very small club of teams who beat them this year.

SBNation.com has a really good preview of all four games. In the AFC, the question in the Jets/Colts game is whether the Jets will turn up after losing to the Bears and Dolphins and getting rocked by the Patriots (but, it should be pointed out, beating the Steelers) at the end of the season. In the Ravens-Chiefs game, it's that the city of Kansas City finally gets to host a playoff game after seven years of waiting - as SB Nation points out, Kansas City only has the Chiefs and the Royals, so this is sort of a feel-good story for them.

As the weekend progresses, we'll be keeping track of the results and their meaning for Steelers fans.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.