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Big QB Return Might Shakeup Steelers Playoff Chances



Steelers Playoff Trevor Lawrence

The Steelers’ playoff hopes will come down not only to their own results against the Baltimore Ravens but the Jacksonville Jaguars or Buffalo Bills losing. The Miami Dolphins are dealing with injuries while Tennessee will be down Will Levis and start Ryan Tannehill. But the Jaguars will get a boost after 26-0 win against the Carolina Panthers.

Quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who suffered a shoulder injury against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is set to practice this week and might return in the pivotal Week 18 matchup against the Titans.

“It [Lawrence’s shoulder] is definitely improving,” Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson said. “I would expect him to potentially get more practice time this week and hopefully he’s in a position to play in this game.”

The Steelers will make the playoffs with a win against the Baltimore Ravens and a Jaguars loss to the Titans.

The Steelers can also advance with a win and a Buffalo Bills loss to the Miami Dolphins, and both of those teams will have plenty to play for. The winner of the Bills and Dolphins game will claim the AFC East title and home-field advantage in the first two rounds of the playoffs. The loser faces a first-round road trip to Kansas City — talk about a big swing in their Super Bowl fortune.

If the Colts and Texans tie and the Steelers beat the Ravens, they will also get in.

As things stand right now, the New York Times playoff simulator gives the Steelers a 28% chance of making it to the playoffs. That will rise to 72% with a win over the Ravens, and fall to 20% with a loss.


1. Baltimore Ravens 13-3
2. Miami Dolphins 11-5
3. Kansas City Chiefs 10-6
4. Jacksonville Jaguars 9-7
5. Cleveland Browns 11-5
6. Buffalo Bills 10-6
7. Indianapolis Colts 9-7
8. Houston Texans 9-7
9. Pittsburgh Steelers 9-7
10. Denver Broncos 8-8
11. Cincinnati Bengals 8-8
12. Las Vegas Raiders 7-9
13. New York Jets 6-10
14. Tennessee Titans 5-11
15. Los Angeles Chargers 5-11
16. New England Patriots 4-12