The Steelers will clinch a playoff berth Sunday if they beat the Ravens, and if the Jets lose to the Patriots. Would it be extra sweet for the Steelers to secure a playoff berth in Baltimore? Steelers coach Mike Tomlin likes winning anywhere.
“It would be difficult for me to care less about the location,” Tomlin said during a Wednesday conference call.
Tomlin said he was expecting to get the Ravens’ best shot, despite their record (4-10) and a depleted lineup.
“We got respect for those guys, players and coaches,” Tomlin said. “We have respect for how they do their business and their intentions. I really think the intensity of the rivalry is based on that respect, because we know that regardless of circumstance, we should anticipate their best, and they should anticipate ours.”
The Steelers (9-5) have dealt with season-ending injuries to running back Le’Veon Bell and center Maurkice Pouncey, and were also without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for four games. But with Roethlisberger back in the lineup, and De’Angelo Williams (799 yards rushing) playing well at running back, the Steelers look capable of making a playoff run if they get in.
When the 2015 schedule was released, both the Steelers and Ravens expected Sunday’s game to have playoff significance. For the Ravens, it no longer does. But for the Steelers, winning in Baltimore on Sunday could help punch their playoff ticket.