Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley predicted today that the Cincinnati Bengals and New England Patriots will "lay down" on Sunday to help keep his team out of the playoffs.
"Cincinnati is probably going to go into New York and lay down for the Jets and not play them hard just because they don't want to see Pittsburgh in there," Woodley said, "because they know if we get into the playoffs we're a dangerous team."
The Steelers need at least the Bengals to beat the Jets or the Patriots to beat the Houston Texans in order to have a chance to make the playoffs, and they probably need both those games to go their way.
Woodley was named today the AFC defensive player of the week.
"All of them will lay down," said Woodley, who leads the Steelers with 11.5 sacks, third in the AFC. "No one wants to see Pittsburgh in there. That's just how it is. Everybody knows we're a dangerous team once we get into the playoffs no matter how we played throughout the whole year."
The Bengals (10-5) swept the Steelers twice this season on way to the AFC North Division title the Steelers won the past two seasons. The Steelers were 6-2 when they lost for the second time to Cincinnati that began a five-game losing streak that dropped the Super Bowl champs to 6-7 before rallying to win the past two games and give them a slim chance of reaching the playoffs.
The Steelers need to win in Miami to have a chance at a playoff spot with a 9-7 record, and also must have one of three scenarios take place:
• Houston loses or ties, and Jets lose or tie.
• Houston losses or ties and Baltimore (at Oakland) loses or ties.
• Jets lose or tie and Baltimore loses or ties and Denver (home vs. Kansas City) loses or ties.