Chargers Put Dent in Steelers Playoff Hopes; One Path to Postseason Remains
The Los Angeles Chargers dealt a big blow to the Pittsburgh Steelers playoff hopes with a win over the Indianapolis Colts on Monday Night Football.
The Chargers victory locked up a second AFC Wild Card spot. The Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals have also both clinched playoff spots, though which will win the AFC North and which will be a Wild Card has yet to be determined.
That leaves one spot for five other teams still alive in the playoff race, and the Steelers are at the back of that, with just a 2% chance of making it to the postseason tournament, according to Five Thirty Eight.
The Steelers have only one path to the playoffs remaining that does not involve teams tying one or more of their remaining games:
Pittsburgh Steelers beat Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns
Miami Dolphins lose to New England Patriots and New York Jets
New York Jets lose to Seattle Seahawks in Week 17
New England Patriots lose to Buffalo Bills in Week 18
The Steelers will be eliminated if they lose either of their two remaining games at the Baltimore Ravens and against the Cleveland Browns. They will also be eliminated if the Miami Dolphins win their Week 17 against the New England Patriots. A New York Jets win in Week 17 will not eliminate the Steelers, but they would then need the Jets and Dolphins to tie in Week 18.
The Dolphins and Patriots kick off at 1 p.m. on Sunday, so the Steelers will know if they are still alive before their game against the Ravens starts at 8:15 p.m. The Dolphins could be playing without starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who entered the concussion protocol for the second time the season on Monday.