Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports

What is at stake for Patriots in Steelers-Texans matchup on Christmas Day?

Ryan Hannable
December 25, 2017 - 11:42 am

Even though the Patriots are off on Christmas Day following their win Sunday against the Bills, they still could clinch the AFC's No. 1 seed in the upcoming playoffs.

If the Texans beat the Steelers, the Patriots would clinch homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. New England is currently 12-3 and if the Steelers lose they would fall to 11-4, but the Patriots hold the tiebreaker thanks to their win in Week 15.

This game will be played at 4:30 in Houston. The Texans come into the contest at 4-10, while the Steelers are 11-3.

Pittsburgh will be without Antonio Brown, who suffered a calf injury last week against the Patriots. He reportedly will not be ready for wild card weekend, so it is important for the Steelers to lock in the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye. They can do this with a win.

If the Steelers do win, the Patriots can clinch the No. 1 seed next week with a win against the Jets. The only way they would not get it would be if the Steelers win their final two games and the Patriots lose next week. Pittsburgh hosts the Browns in Week 17.

How important is getting the No. 1 seed for the Patriots?

The Patriots have been the No. 1 seed in five of their seven Super Bowl appearances under Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Furthermore, the top seed in the AFC has gone to the Super Bowl in each of the last four seasons.

Comments ()