The Steelers are 5-0 for the first time since 1978 and will face the also 5-0 Titans in Nashville on Sunday. While it's only Week 7, the winner of the game could have an edge when it comes to playoff seeding or possibly even the No. 1 spot in the AFC playoffs come early January. The game also has a historical element to it.
According to NFL Research, the Steelers-Titans game on Sunday is the fifth game in NFL history between two undefeated teams in Week 7 or later (excluding strike seasons). The winner of the previous four such games went on to make the Super Bowl that season. Titans' head coach Mike Vrabel played in and won two such games with the Patriots.
The last time a matchup of two undefeated teams in Week 7 or later occurred was in Week 8 of the 2015 season between the Packers and Broncos, which Denver won 29-10 and they would go on to beat the Panthers in the Super Bowl that season. Prior to the 2015 Packers-Broncos game, the aforementioned Patriots' teams Vrabel played for in 2007 and 2004 played in contests between two unbeaten teams in Week 7 or later -- a 24-20 win by the Patriots over the Colts in Week 9 of 2007 and a 13-7 New England win over the Jets Week 7 of 2004. The Patriots would go on to lose Super Bowl XLII to the Giants in 2007 and they beat the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX in 2004.
The only other time that there was a game between two undefeated teams in Week 7 or later was in 1973 when the Rams played the Vikings, a game which Minnesota won, 10-9. The Vikings would go on to lose to the Dolphins in the Super Bowl that season.
On Sunday, Vrabel will be a part of his third game between two unbeaten teams in Week 7 or later, which is pretty incredible since there have only been five such occurrences. The winner of the Steelers-Titans game on Sunday has good odds based on history to appear in the Super Bowl this year, and maybe even win it all, as two teams have done previously when playing in a battle of two undefeated teams in Week 7 or later.
In addition, Sunday's game between the Steelers and Titans marks the eighth meeting in NFL history of undefeated and untied teams with at least five victories, according to Michael Bertsch, who is the communications manager for the Steelers. Vrabel was on the Patriots' 2007 team that beat the Cowboys 48-27 in Week 6.