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Pittsburgh Steelers playoff scenarios: Hope is not lost for NFL playoffs spot

Tomlin Steelers
Head Coach Mike Tomlin still has his team heading toward the NFL playoffs. Pic credit: Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ playoff scenarios may have taken a hit on Sunday night, but the team is still right in the thick of the race. In the updated NFL playoff standings, the Steelers are still holding down a spot of their own.

Losing to the Buffalo Bills in front of a national audience may not have been the plan, but that’s what happened when the team couldn’t slow down quarterback Josh Allen. It dropped the Steelers to 8-6 on the season.

With most of the Week 15 NFL games in the books, the Steelers hold the No. 6 spot in the AFC playoffs. If the season were to end today, they would head out on the road to play the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round.

Pittsburgh Steelers playoff scenarios become limited

Before the week began, the Steelers still had a shot to move up in the AFC playoff standings, but that opportunity has now passed. In fact, the margin for error has slimmed a lot, and the team must now take care of its own business.

The Steelers finish off the regular season with games against the New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens. They have probably become must-win games, which is going to be tough because they are both on the road.

There is some good news. If the Ravens win in Week 16 against the Cleveland Browns, they clinch the top seed in the AFC playoffs. Doing so will mean that they can rest players in Week 17, which would be very helpful to the Steelers.

If the Steelers simply win their last two games, they clinch the No. 6 seed and play in the Wild Card round. If they lose either game, that spot could be lost to the Tennessee Titans (8-6) or Houston Texans (9-5).

It’s a pretty simple scenario of “win and they’re in” for the Steelers. Beating the 5-9 Jets might seem easy on paper as well, but that’s a team that is only playing for pride at this point.

If they beat the Jets and the Ravens beat the Browns, it’s almost like clinching a spot in the postseason. Almost.

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