It seems the Pittsburgh Steelers have accepted the fact the New England Patriots will beat the New York Jets in Week 17 and, in turn, earn the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
Steelers right tackle Marcus Gilbert told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Tim Benz that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, running Le’Veon Bell and wide receiver Antonio Brown won’t play Week 17 against the winless Cleveland Browns.
If the Steelers beat the Browns and the Patriots lost to or tied the Jets, then Pittsburgh would take the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. If the Patriots beat the Jets, they automatically get the No. 1 seed. If both teams win, lose or tie, the Patriots get the No. 1 seed.
Only two teams have gone an entire season without winning or tying a game since the NFL expanded its schedule to at least 14 games in 1961 — the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the 2008 Detroit Lions. The Browns can avoid joining those teams if they can beat the Landry Jones-quarterbacked Steelers.
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