After I had the chance to let the Steeler win and their impending trip to Dallas sink in on Sunday, I got to thinking how things have played out for Pittsburgh to get to and advance through the playoffs. Then, I remembered this little incident from their Week 12 win against the Bills.
Never been so happy to have a fantasy player blow a TD than when Johnson dropped the game winner.
Yes, Christmas definitely came early for Steeler fans. Just park that one in the back of your minds if Pittsburgh ends up finishing ahead of Balty for the division title.
Somebody send Stevie Johnson a nice "thank you" card attached to a case of Butterfingers.
I mean, think about that for a second and how that single play could've completely altered how things lined up for this team. Johnson makes that catch, Pittsburgh finishes 11-5 instead of 12-4. Now, I'm going to go ahead and assume that the rest of the season plays out as it did because I'm not looking to get into an incredibly deep discussion about how a loss in that game could've altered their approach going forward, resulting in different outcomes to future games (i.e. maybe they play more inspired ball versus the Jets the first time?) with ripple effects from those games, etc., etc.
So, if we assume that Pittsburgh finishes 11-5, that means that Baltimore takes the division title at 12-4 and locks up a weeks' rest with the #2 seed. The Steelers would then drop all the way the fuck down to the 6 seed (again, assuming they go on to lose to the Jets, so NY would own the tiebreaker over them) and be in a position similar to where they were in '08. They would've then had to go to Indy and accomplish what NY did against Manning and the practice squadders. If they managed to get by them, that would've meant a second date with Beardy and Hoodie at the Razor. The Jets would've gone to KC for a game that I think would've been closer, but likely had a similar outcome to the Ravens/Chiefs divisional matchup. Maybe KC pulls off an upset there, who knows. Either way, the winner would've moved on to face the Ravens in their place while Pittsburgh traveled to New England for a rematch.
And, to be brutally honest, I don't have the slightest idea how either of those games would've played out and who would've moved on to the AFCC game. One thing's for sure, it would've involved another week of travel for Pittsburgh. And, not getting the bye would've resulted in one less week for Troy, Ben and the rest of the wounded to rest up.
Thanks again, Stevie.