After Sunday’s game, the Steelers only have one path to the playoffs, and it’s not a likely one. But Pittsburgh fans won’t stop believing.
The first step for the Steelers will be winning on Monday night against the Cleveland Browns in what’s likely to be Ben Roethlisberger’s final home game. Roethlisberger made it clear earlier this week in press availability that — as things currently stand — it looks like this will be his last time playing at Heinz Field.
“I don’t ever speak in definites or guarantees. That’s just not what I’ve ever done or who I am,” said Roethlisberger. “But looking at the bigger picture, I would say that all signs are pointing that this could be it.”
After Week 17’s Sunday games, it’s looking more and more likely that the Steelers won’t make the playoffs. Only one more path remains for Pittsburgh.
How can Steelers still make the playoffs?
With the Raiders and Chargers winning on Sunday, the Steelers are now unable to surpass them. This is because Vegas plays Los Angeles next week. The winner of that game is guaranteed a playoff spot, while the other is out.
The Colts are currently in the sixth seed at 9-7. The Steelers’ best hope is that Indianapolis loses in Week 18 to the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars, which are in line for the No. 1 overall draft pick for the second year in a row. The Jags would be wise to lose that game — though we won’t call it intentional tanking — as it would be a quicker path to a rebuild.
If the Jags pull off a miracle, and the Steelers win their next two games against the Browns and Baltimore Ravens, then Pittsburgh can make the playoffs and give Big Ben another chance at postseason glory.
If those events don’t transpire exactly as described, Week 18 at Baltimore will be Roethlisberger’s final NFL game.