TribLIVE

| Sports

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Steelers must win, hope for help

Steelers/NFL Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Scott Brown
Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2009
 

The Steelers have to root for two teams that each has won its respective division.

That is not exactly a good thing -- and not because the Patriots and Bengals are teams that the Steelers do not particularly like.

If the Steelers beat the Dolphins on Sunday, they get into the AFC playoffs as a wild card if the Patriots and Bengals also win. The problem for the Steelers: if the Patriots beat the Texans in a 1 p.m. game, the Bengals will have nothing to play for in their 8:20 p.m. game against the Jets and may rest many of their key starters.

The Patriots and Bengals are each 10-5. If each finishes with an 11-5 record, New England will get the No. 3 seed over Cincinnati in the AFC playoffs by virtue of holding the edge in the strength-of-victory tiebreaker.

The Steelers can still get into the playoffs if they beat the Dolphins and the Patriots beat the Texans, and the Bengals lose to the Jets.

For that to happen, the Steelers would need the Ravens to lose to the Raiders.

The Ravens are early double-digit point favorites in their 4:15 p.m. game Sunday at Oakland.

If the Patriots lose to the Texans, the Steelers would need to beat the Dolphins and have the Ravens, Broncos and Jets all lose.

The Broncos host the Chiefs (3-12) on Sunday.

"Hopefully, we'll have a couple of other things go our way and we'll make it to where we want to be," Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison said. "We can't fix anything we did the previous six weeks."

There is ample reason for teams that have qualified for the playoffs to want the Steelers left out of postseason play:

• They have won two of the past four Super Bowls.

• In 2005, they won their final four games of the regular season to make the playoffs, and became the first No. 6 seed in NFL history to win the Super Bowl.

"We know what we're capable of doing," said wide receiver Santonio Holmes, the MVP of last season's Super Bowl. "I'm pretty sure everyone else knows when the Steelers come to play in the playoffs, they come full-fledged. We're definitely bringing our 'A' game."

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Steelers

  1. Steelers unfazed by Brady suspension saga
  2. Steelers’ Wheaton adjusting his game moving to slot receiver
  3. Steelers RB Archer trying to catch up after tough rookie season
  4. Inside the Steelers: Ventrone suffers right ankle injury
  5. Steelers notebook: Backup QB Gradkowski remains out with shoulder issue
  6. Butler, Steelers defense take on new challenges
  7. Steelers extend GM Colbert’s contract through 2018 draft
  8. Steelers notebook: 5 players start training camp on injured list
  9. Rossi: St. Vincent a football sanctuary during Steelers training camp
  10. Steelers LB Timmons has grown into leadership role on defense