Steelers must win, hope for help
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."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers notebook: Shazier returns just in time
- Linebacker Harrison coming along slowly since return to Steelers
- Steelers’ Adams delivers in pinch against Texans
- Steelers free safety Mitchell is still settling into role on defense
- Rossi: Middling Steelers must make a statement
- Steelers notebook: Young players provide big challenge for special teams coach
- Steelers’ defense on pace for fewest sacks in 16-game season
- Starkey: Century mark beckons for Ben
- Steelers’ Pouncey, brother won’t be charged in July fracas
- Rossi: Steelers’ season all about going big
- Steelers film session: Watt kept under control