The San Francisco 49ers may have already secured a playoff spot and the Pittsburgh Steelers may be dealing with a banged up Ben Roethlisberger, but Monday night's contest still figures to be one of the best of the season. Both teams enter the game with 10-3 records, coming in high in SB Nation's NFL Power Rankings this week. Though the stakes may be lower for this game, fans should be excited at the prospect of a Monday night game that, at the very least, features two teams with winning records (see: Seahawks vs. Rams, Week 14).
The 49ers are still vying for a first round bye and home field advantage in their first game of the playoff. They will have to stave off the New Orleans Saints, also at 10-3, who should have an easier time against the Minnesota Vikings this week. The Niners have lost two of their last three games, including an upset by the Arizona Cardinals last week, so they will be look to regain some lost mojo as well. The offense struggled mightily against the Cards, behind an 18-for-37 passing performance by Alex Smith.
The Steelers, meanwhile, have won four straight, but may be without Roethlisberger who is dealing with an ankle injury. They are in prime position for one of the AFC's Wild Card spots, with a win Monday all but assuring their trip to the playoffs. Pittsburgh is second in the league in total defense allowing just 276 yards of offense per game, setting what could be very close defensive matchup in primetime.
Game Date/Time: Monday, December 19; 8:30 p.m. ET
Location: Candlestick Park, San Francisco, CA
TV Distribution Map: The506.com
Steelers: WDVE 102.5 FM, 970 ESPN
49ers: KNBR, BONE