Playoff scenarios can be confusing.
Right now people are talking about the Steelers as if they have already hoisted the Lombardi trophy over their head. This couldn’t be further from the truth, as the Steelers still aren’t even locked into a spot in the postseason.
A loss this week coupled with a Jets win will push the Steelers out of the last spot.
This week I will look at the playoff chances of the Steelers by examining their game and all other games important to the Steelers in cheers, jeer and fears.
I really don’t want to speak too soon, but the Steelers do not have the most challenging road ahead to get to the playoffs.
(Isn’t he so cute?)
The most challenging things about the two remaining games are that they come against division rivals who would love nothing more than to knock the black and gold from contention.
Not to mention both are away from Heinz.
Baltimore and Cleveland are both in a legitimate race for the worst record in the league.
I kind of hate that I have to root for the Patriots and Browns this week. I just feel dirty.
The truth is that both of these teams play games that will mean a great deal to the Steelers playoff hopes.
A Steelers win and a Jets loss will cement Pittsburgh in the playoffs.
If both win the Steelers will still hold the tiebreaker.
A Steelers win and a Chiefs loss will actually push Pittsburgh into the favorable fifth seed in the AFC. That team will take on the winner of the lowly AFC South. Probably Houston.
If both win the picture will look the same.
BONUS: Denver v Cincinnati is a huge game potentially.
If the Steelers win and the Bengals lose on Monday night, it will only put the Steelers one game back of the Bengals for a second straight AFC North title.
It’s a bit of a long shot, but it’s something to keep your eye on.
My fears this week lie firmly with my own acceptance that this team is playing this well. I keep thinking they are going to screw it up somehow.
I thought that “aha!” moment was going to be last week when the defense made Brock Osweiler look like, well, Big Ben for the first half.
But, the defense got off their asses and pitched a shutout in the second half, which is something I never thought could happen.
These last two games scare me for the simple fact that I still can’t believe in this team.
Maybe if I see it in person, like I will be this weekend, I will feel a little more at ease like my surrounding Steelers fans seem to be.