Photo Gallery: Eye on the Opponent
The scenario for the Steelers to make the playoffs many scoffed at weeks ago as being ultra slim is still in place, and while a lot needs to happen, it's definitely not out of the question. So buckle up, because it's going to be exciting this Sunday.
It starts with the Steelers playing the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field this week. While the Steelers have no control over what happens with the others games around the NFL, they can control what happens against the Browns, a game that has the makings to be one of the classic games of old in the rivalry between the two teams.
"It's an important game this week," said receiver Jerricho Cotchery. "You want to finish the season strong, whether you are going to the playoffs or into the next season. That momentum definitely carries over. We have had a good second half of the year. That has to be something we keep in mind going into this game. It's important for veterans, rookies, everybody. That momentum definitely carries over."
The Steelers are 5-2 since the halfway mark of the season and they want more than anything to go out with a win this Sunday. While many fans might be checking scores on their phones while cheering on the black and gold at Heinz Field, the team is "singularly focused" on simply beating the Browns.
"It's been evident with the situation we were in earlier in the year that we had to fight a lot to maintain some continuity," said defensive end Brett Keisel. "We have done that. We get an opportunity to play at home in front of our own fans, against a divisional rival. It would be great to end the regular season with a win in front of our fans and see what happens."
The Steelers have proven over the last few weeks with wins over the Bengals and Packers that they weren't about to pack it in. This is a team that has shown heart, passion and resolve. And that isn't about to change now.
"It's about pride, but it's also about being in a situation where people feel like you shouldn't care, like you have nothing to play for," said safety Ryan Clark. "But you show that every game is important, that every game counts, that any time you get an opportunity to get on the field you want to win and in this building it's about that, winning.
"It's exciting it's against Cleveland this week, that it's at home and you want to give your fans a good show."