First seed in the AFC is on the line at Heinz Field as the New England Patriots take on the Pittsburgh Steelers. The winner will own the tiebreaker for home field throughout the playoffs.
Our picks on who will win this marquee AFC matchup:
Jason Romano: Patriots 27 – Steelers 24 — This game will determine where the AFC Championship is played and I think New England is once again on the verge of a Super Bowl appearance. Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger will both play well, but in the end it’s a field goal by Steven Gostkowski that seals the deal for the Pats.
UPSET: San Francisco 49ers 27 – Tennessee Titans 21 – The Niners are at home and playing for pride but they are also playing pretty well right now, having won two in a row and three of their last four games. I think Jimmy Garoppolo and company pull this one out and deal a blow to the Titans’ playoff hopes.
Justin Adams: Steelers 33 – Patriots 30 – New England has won eight of the last 10 games against Pittsburgh. So why am I sticking with the home team? Pittsburgh is 7-1 in games decided by six points or fewer this season. Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell will lead the Steelers to another close win.
UPSET: Los Angeles Rams 27 – Seattle Seahawks 23 – Rams head coach Sean McVay blamed himself for last week’s loss against the Philadelphia Eagles. He felt he didn’t get the ball enough into the hands of running back Todd Gurley. Seattle has the eighth toughest run defense in the league (102.8 yards per game), but the Rams emphasis on getting the ball into Gurley’s hands will open passing lanes for Jared Goff and his receivers downfield. Rams upset the Seahawks at home and take a two-game lead in the NFC West.
Jon Ackerman: Patriots 30 – Steelers 27 – The Patriots won’t lose two in a row. Somehow Miami has their number, but the Steelers do not. These are the two best teams in the AFC and New England will prove to be supreme.
UPSET: Cleveland Browns 24 – Baltimore Ravens 17 – The Browns nearly notched their first win Sunday over the Packers; I think they get it this week. DeShone Kizer will find a way to get Josh Gordon the ball.
Last Week’s Game of the Week Pick Recap:
Philadelphia Eagles vs Los Angeles Rams
Actual Result: Philadelphia Eagles 43 – Los Angeles Rams 35
Jason Romano: Eagles 30 – Rams 24
Justin Adams: Eagles 30 – Rams 27
Jon Ackerman: Eagles 31 – Rams 27
Season Record: (Upset Picks Record in Parentheses)
Jason: 11-4 (2-8)
Justin: 8-7 (4-6)
Jon: 11-3 (2-7)