The Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos will meet in the final game of Wild Card Weekend on Sunday in Denver, but while the Broncos are hosting, the Steelers are regarded as the favorites. After the Broncos fell to Earth in their final three games, going from 8-5 to 8-8, that makes sense.
But the Broncos have been the Steelers' superiors in the history of their series, compiling a 16-10-1 mark against the Steel City stalwarts, though the two teams are 3-3 in playoff games. Pittsburgh won the last meeting between the two teams 28-10 in 2009, but Denver has won three of the last five games in the series.
The all-time series has a couple other quirks. Since 1985, the 15 games have been five separate strings of two Denver wins followed by a Pittsburgh win. And in the last six games prior to the 2009 loss, Denver had scored the same number of points in consecutive games three times: 24 in 1997 and 1998, 17 in 2003 and the 2006 AFC Championship Game, and 31 in 2006 and 2007. Follow those patterns blindly, and the Broncos should win this weekend's game, despite scoring just 10 points and matching their 2009 output.
Of course, Tim Tebow, who tops Andrew Sharp's Wild Card Weekend power rankings, wasn't involved in those other Steelers-Broncos tilts. Whether he helps Denver continue the patterns or start a new one is yet to be determined.
For more on the two teams, check out Steelers blog The Falcoholic and Broncos blog Mile High Report. More: SB Nation NFL editor Jason Garrison likes the Steelers' chances of making the Super Bowl as a Wild Card team.