This might be a shock to everyone today but the Steelers are still in the playoff mix. I know you are thinking "Wow, I thought the Steelers were out of the playoffs six weeks ago by the way the people were jumping off the Clemente bridge" but you would be wrong.
Sure, it is going to be tough to get into the playoffs with what we need to happen, but hey, look at the Eagles last year and how many different losses it took for them to get in. There is a fighters chance here and we know how the Steelers play with their backs against the wall (check the last two weeks).
So lets cut out all the BS and take a look at the games of interest here. All games are on Sunday and EST.
Pittsburgh @ Miami - 1:00 PM
If the Steelers don't win this game then this post doesn't even matter. Without this win the Steelers do not get in unless six different teams actually fall off the face of the earth.
New England @ Houstin - 1:00 PM
Baltimore @ Oakland - 4:15 PM
Kansas City @ Denver - 4:15 PM
Cincinnati @ New York Jets - 8:20 PM
Here is the playoff scenerios:
Now a few things that we have to clear up about this whole situation. The big problem that the Steelers have is that the Patriots and Bengals are playing at two different times. Both teams are playing for the third seed and Cincinnati is going to have the opportunity to know their playoff seed before they even set the field.
Houstin is a very hot team coming off a huge win over Miami so it is going to be a good game against the Patriots, especially if the Patriots don't care about getting the third seed. Ken Laird was on ESPN Radio afer the Mike Tomlin presser and said he talked to some people he used to work in New England and they seem to think Tom Brady might not play much against Houstin if at all. I don't know how valid that is but Billy is not afraid to sit his players and it has been noted that Brady has been getting pretty banged up over the year.
The Cincinnati game is one that kinda worries me. Not sure if as much as the New England game but it worries me. The Bengals are going to know their fate. Scenerio one is the Pats winning, gettin the three seed and locking the Bengals into the fourth seed. Do you play Carson Palmer, Chad Ochocinco and there big stars more than a half? Probably not. Will you beat the Jets with that kinda lineup? Probably not.
Scenerio two is the Patriots taking a loss (which kills the Steelers) and the Bengals having a shot at the three seed. You might see those players getting into the game more, and this still means the Steelers have a chance although it is not a very good one.
Another consideration that a friend had was the possibility that the Bengals pull their players regardless and stick it to the Steelers to keep them out? Now do I think that the Bengals would purposly tank a game to keep the Steelers out? Hell no. But, would that be an added bonus if they are locked into a spot of if they don't see a difference between the third and fourth seed to keep the Steelers out? Hell yea.
I don't know if the Bengals are thinking about that but it seems as if the Bengals already had made their decisions. Check out this little ditty that the boys at OFTOT found this morning when we were talking on Twitter about this(be sure to follow me on Twitter here to keep in the loop).
I have no idea where I sit on that front. I mean the Bengals beat up twice but would you rather see the Jets or the Steelers in a one game playoff?
The other games that will mean something if one of the Bengals or New England lose will be the Baltimore/Oakland game and the Kansas City/Denver game. If one of the two teams above would fall (NE or Cincy) then we need both the Raiders and Chiefs to win. I could see Oakland taking down the Ravens.
Before you start laughing at my last statement really take a look at the teams that the Raiders have beat this year. Done looking? I figured you didn't look so take a read at these teams: Eagles, Bengals, Steelers, Broncos. All in the hunt for the playoffs. Could it happen again to another playoff bound team? Sure why not? The Raiders will be at home so hopefully they can give us a holiday present.
I am not sure about the Chiefs going to Mile High and beating the Broncos is going to be hard. Not saying that the Broncos have really anything going for them, but I just don't know if the Chiefs has what it takes.
To recap, I would love to see the Patriots and Bengals to both lose so we don't have to worry about the other BS.
Here We Go