The Pittsburgh Steelers have all but eliminated themselves from the playoff picture. Losing crucial games to the Baltimore Ravens and the Miami Dolphins, it would appear it’s the end of the road for the black and gold.
BUT…mathematically, the Steelers could still make the playoffs. They’ll need a prayer plus some.
Here’s what must happen for them to make the playoffs:
- The Steelers must win their next two games. This Sunday, they’ll face the Green Bay Packers with Aaron Rodgers potentially back in the lineup. After a trip to Lambeau, they return home to host the Cleveland Browns in, barring a miracle, the last game of the season.
- The Ravens must lose out. The Baltimore Justin Tucker’s defeated the Detroit Lions on Monday Night Football, giving the Ravens a better chance of making the playoffs. They now will face the New England Patriots and Cincinnati Bengals in their last two game. The Steelers should be happy to see the Ravens facing two quality opponents in these coming weeks.
- The Dolphins must lose out. The Dolphins knocked off the Steelers then the Patriots. It would seem they are riding a wave of momentum and probably have the best chance of locking up the final wild card spot. The Dolphins will have the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets to finish out the regular season. Facing two not-so-quality teams, giving Miami a huge advantage of making the playoffs.
- The San Diego Chargers must lose one of two games. The Chargers will meet the Oakland Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs in these coming weeks. These are no easy tasks, especially against the Chiefs in the final week. The Steelers will hope Phillip Rivers and company can lose one or both of these games.
- The Jets must win against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. The Jets will host the Browns and for the playoff picture to favor Pittsburgh, gang green needs to take care of business against the dog pound.
As you can see, it’s a long, long, long-shot for these Steelers to sneak into the playoffs. A similar situation happened to the Steelers back in 1989 and it just so happened all the cards fell into place and the Steelers made the playoffs.
With Miami on a hot-streak and facing two lousy teams in the Bills and Jets, I tend to believe they’ll be the ones to snap any hope the Steelers have of making the playoffs. If yinz are writing letters to Santa, you may want to ask him for a Steelers’ Christmas miracle.