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Steelers to face Bills in Wild Card matchup on Sunday in Buffalo

Steelers to face Bills in Wild Card round of playoffs in Buffalo
Steelers to face Bills in Wild Card round of playoffs in Buffalo 01:54

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The Pittsburgh Steelers have made it into the NFL's postseason and will be squaring off with the Buffalo Bills next weekend in the Wild Card round. 

The Steelers took care of their own business this weekend, beating the Ravens on the road in Baltimore. They also got the help they needed as the Tennessee Titans beat the Jacksonville Jaguars, opening the door for Pittsburgh to get into the playoffs. 

In the Sunday Night Football matchup between the Bills and the Dolphins, the Bills came out on top, setting up next week's Wild Card matchup in Buffalo.

Early betting lines show the #7 seed Steelers listed as nearly 10-point underdogs for the game against the #2 seed Bills. 

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Highmark Stadium on Sunday and you can catch the game on KDKA-TV.

Who will be the starting quarterback?

Mason Rudolph has led the Steelers to three straight wins and a playoff berth. It's unclear whether the team will stick with Rudolph or if there is a chance they will go back to Kenny Pickett, who was sidelined with injury before being cleared to return. 

Pickett backed up Rudolph on Saturday in Baltimore. 

Will T.J. Watt be able to play?

Whether or not the Steelers have their star linebacker and Defensive Player of the Year candidate in T.J. Watt for the playoff game in Buffalo is still up in the air.

Watt left Saturday's game against the Ravens with an injury and early reports suggest that he's dealing with an MCL sprain.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 06: T.J. Watt #90 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is looked at by medical staff after an injury during the second half of a game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on January 06, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland. / Getty Images

Head Coach Mike Tomlin will hold his weekly press conference on Tuesday and will perhaps provide more clarity to the situation and Watt's potential availability then. 

Getting a boost in the secondary

While T.J. Watt's status is up in the air, the team will be getting a boost in the secondary with the return of safety Damontae Kazee.

Kazee was suspended for the remainder of the regular season following a violent hit on Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. during the team's game in Indianapolis in Week 16.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Indianapolis Colts
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - DECEMBER 16: Michael Pittman Jr. #11 of the Indianapolis Colts and Damontae Kazee #23 of the Pittsburgh Steelers collide while going after a ball during the second quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 16, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. / Getty Images

Kazee was ejected from the game before he was suspended for the rest of the season. He appealed the suspension, but it was upheld by the league. 

Elsewhere in the AFC playoffs

The Baltimore Ravens earned the #1 seed and have a bye. 

#4 seed Houston Texans will host #5 Cleveland Browns on Saturday afternoon.

#3 Kansas City Chiefs will host #6 Miami Dolphins on Saturday night. 

How the Steelers bounced back to make the postseason

The Steelers' qualifying for the playoffs wasn't an easy road, with their odds of getting into the postseason being as low as 5% just a few weeks ago, sitting with a 7-7 record heading into Week 16. 

The team found its footing on the offensive side of the football with Mason Rudolph taking the reins at quarterback, winning three straight games against Cincinnati, Seattle, and Baltimore. 

NFL: JAN 06 Steelers at Ravens
BALTIMORE, MD - JANUARY 06: Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph (2) smiles and pumps his fist as he runs off the field after the Pittsburgh Steelers versus Baltimore Ravens NFL game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 6, 2024 in Baltimore, MD. Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Rudolph took over at quarterback after the team's dismal start to the month of December where they dropped three straight games against the Cardinals, Patriots, and Colts. 

Two of those losses came at home against teams who only had two wins each. 

When Rudolph took over for the team's Christmas Eve weekend matchup with the Bengals, winning out was their only path to a possible postseason spot, and they did just that.

In the three games that Rudolph started for the Steelers, the team's offense found ways to score that seemed impossible for long stretches of the season -- one that resulted in offensive coordinator Matt Canada being fired near the midway point. 

With the Bengals in town from Cincinnati, Rudolph passed for 290 yards, linking up with George Pickens for two touchdowns in a 34-11 win.

On the road in the Pacific Northwest, the Steelers beat the Seahawks in Seattle for the first time since 1983 as the team's two-headed rushing attack pounded the football with Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren combining for 202 yards. Rudolph added 275 yards in the air in the 30-23 win.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Seattle Seahawks
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 31: Najee Harris #22 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs with the ball during the fourth quarter of a game against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field on December 31, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. / Getty Images

Lastly, in less than desirable weather conditions, the Steelers pulled out a 17-10 win over the Ravens in Baltimore with another ground and pound game from Harris, who ran for 112 yards and a touchdown. 

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