For the second consecutive season, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns will play an elimination game at Heinz Field.
Last season, it came in the Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs, with Cleveland upsetting the AFC North champs and ending the Steelers’ season with a 48-37 win on Jan. 3.
This year, the elimination game will happen in Week 17 of the regular season, as the 7-7-1 Steelers and 7-8 Browns will each need to win on Monday night in order to maintain their playoff hopes alive.
Both teams are still in the running for the AFC North title, though hopes for that for both squads rest on the Cincinnati Bengals losing to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
The Steelers have about a 5% chance of making it to the postseason as an AFC Wild Card, according to Five Thirty Eight, and cannot be eliminated from contention before the game, regardless of what combination of other teams win on Sunday.
The Browns, though, could be out of it before kickoff. Cleveland has just a 0.2% chance of earning a Wild Card berth, so the Bengals winning would all but eliminate Cleveland. Wins by a number of the other teams in the running for a Wild Card berth would do it officially.
But even if Cleveland is already out of it by game time on Monday, the Browns will still get the opportunity to end Pittsburgh’s hopes for the second year in a row.