The Steelers are 7-1 in their past eight games, constituting half of an NFL season.
That one loss came at the hands of their opponent in today’s AFC Championship game, the New York Jets, who defeated the Steelers 22-17 Dec. 19 at Heinz Field.
So why are the Steelers favored by 31⁄2 points to defeat the Jets today and advance to the Super Bowl?
Quite frankly, they are a better football team.
As Steelers fans know all too well, that doesn’t necessarily mean they should start buying plane tickets to Dallas for the Super Bowl. The Steelers were bigger favorites in 1994 and 2001, only to lose to San Diego and New England, respectively.
Upsets happen. They just haven’t happened as often of late.
The favorite has won seven of the past eight AFC Championship games, with the only upset coming when the Steelers upset the Broncos, who were 3-point favorites, in Denver to advance to Super Bowl XL.
Yes, the Jets beat the Steelers earlier this season. But strong safety Troy Polamalu and tight end Heath Miller did not play for Pittsburgh in that game.
Having those two players in the lineup will help make a difference for the Steelers today.
Take Pittsburgh to win, 24-17