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Steelers Playoff Scenarios Week 16: Need Help to Stay Alive



TJ Watt and Levi Wallace line up as the Steelers played against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. (Mitchell Northam / Steelers Now)

The sand in the top half of the hourglass is running out on the regular season for the Pittsburgh Steelers. With Sunday’s win at Carolina, they bought themselves another week of playoff contention. Let’s take a look at the ways in which the Steelers can be eliminated from the postseason conversation this week.

First off, the Steelers can’t afford a loss to Las Vegas on what figures to be a frigid Christmas Eve. By the chance that Pittsburgh ties; it will have to hope that the combination of the Los Angeles Chargers and Miami, New England, or the New York Jets don’t win or tie.

If the Chargers beat Indianapolis, Steelers fans will have to hope that Green Bay defeats the Dolphins, or Pittsburgh will be left on the outside looking in. Now, say Los Angeles downs the Colts and Miami ties, then the Patriots and Jets will need to come up short for the Steelers to still have a chance.

Wins by Los Angeles, New England, and New York would also knock Pittsburgh out of the race. It would be a much different story if the Steelers had found a way to beat the Patriots and Jets earlier in the season.

Needless to say, the odds for the Steelers to make the playoffs are not very high. The closer they inch to the end of the season, even if they win out; the likelier it is that they could be eliminated.

In a three-week span, in the midst of a 1-4 start, Pittsburgh lost to both of those New England and the New York Jets by one possession. Because of those defeats — along with close losses to Baltimore and Miami — the Steelers have slim chances to make any noise past Week 18. Pittsburgh fans will have their eyes on plenty of scoreboards this week.

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