The Pittsburgh Steelers are getting ready to head to Chicago to face the Bears. The Steelers are 1-11 lifetime in Chicago.
Home-field advantage is something that the Steelers have not had in quite some time. They have been fortunate enough to play some AFC Championships games at home due to the No. 1 seed losing in the divisional round. A big reason for the Steelers’ inability to secure home-field advantage is because they tend to lose games that they are supposed to win. Sunday’s game in Chicago would classify as a game the Steelers should win.
Now before everyone goes nuts, if the Steelers were to lose Sunday, it wouldn’t end their chances to get home field in the playoffs. But I think the Steelers can really make a statement with a win on Sunday. The Steelers can’t afford to lose these games early on in the season, as their schedule will get rough after the bye.
Another aspect of this Sunday’s game for Pittsburgh is Ben Roethlisberger’s road woes. Roethlisberger in the last few years has been dominant at home but not so dominant on the road. Roethlisberger and company were able to secure their first road win this year Week One in Cleveland and will need to build off that. If Roethlisberger can become more consistent on the road this year, it will go a long way toward the Steelers success.
This is not a must-win for the Steelers on Sunday, but I believe a win on Sunday would be one they could look back on at the end of the year if they were able to clinch home field. It doesn’t matter if they only managed to win on a last-second field goal. As Mike Tomlin always says, “Style points don’t matter.” Steelers fans won’t care down the road, if they clinch home field, that they only beat the 0-2 Bears at the time with a last-second field goal.
T.J. Watt, who left last Sunday’s game with a groin injury, was able to practice on Wednesday in a limited capacity, but he failed to practice on Thursday. If Watt is unable to practice on Friday, I wouldn’t expect him to play on Sunday.
Stephon Tuitt, who hasn’t played since the first series in Week One, was able to fully participate in practice on Thursday, which is great news for the Steelers. If Tuitt doesn’t suffer any setbacks on Friday, I expect him to be in the lineup on Sunday.