Sunday, January 16, 2011
Will Steelers get home-field advantage?
By James Walker
PITTSBURGH -- Steelers linebacker James Farrior made it no secret that he's pulling for the New York Jets Sunday to upset the New England Patriots in the AFC divisional playoffs.
"There's no doubt about it," Farrior said. "We would have a home game."
After beating the Baltimore Ravens 31-24 Saturday, the Steelers will get a rematch next week against a team they lost to earlier this season. Two of Pittsburgh's four defeats have come to the Jets and Patriots.
But the location of the AFC Championship Game is still to be determined -- and that could make a huge difference in Pittsburgh's chances to reach a second Super Bowl in three seasons. If the Jets win, New York will travel to Heinz Field next week. If the Patriots win, the Steelers will travel to Gillette Stadium.
The Steelers (13-4) have been a model of consistency in the NFL. This is the fourth AFC title game for Pittsburgh in seven seasons. Pittsburgh is 2-1 in the previous three games, with the only loss coming to New England following the 2004 season.
"It starts at the top," Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said about the team's success. "It starts with the Rooneys -- awesome people, awesome family, awesome owners."
The Steelers said Saturday night that they believe they know the adjustments that are needed against either potential opponent. Whether it's the Jets at home or New England on the road, Pittsburgh has positioned itself for a one-shot deal to advance to Super Bowl XLV.
"Being in another AFC Championship [Game] is a great thing for us, and we feel good about the situation," Farrior said. "We just want to know who we're going to play."