The Pittsburgh Steelers are headed to Denver to take on the Broncos in the first round of the AFC playoffs.
The Steelers won today in Cleveland, 13-9, but the Ravens’ win over the Bengals prevented the Steelers from winning the AFC North. So as the No. 5 seed in the AFC, the Steelers will go on the road to face the Broncos, winners of the AFC West.
It was an ugly win for the Steelers in Cleveland, marked by Rashard Mendenhall leaving the game with a knee injury, and a limping Ben Roethlisberger not getting much going in the passing game. The most noteworthy accomplishment for the Pittsburgh passing game was that Hines Ward got five catches, putting him at an even 1,000 for his career in what may have been his final regular-season game with the Steelers.
But as ugly as the Steelers’ offense looked today, their defense should give them an excellent chance of beating Tim Tebow and the Broncos in Denver next weekend. There are good reasons to think the Steelers will play beyond the wild card round. And if Roethlisberger gets healthy and gets the offense going, they may be playing for two or three games beyond that.