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Steelers Can Knock Patriots Out of Playoffs with Win



Steelers New England Patriots Playoffs Bill Belichick

The Pittsburgh Steelers can eliminate the New England Patriots from contention for the playoffs in their Week 14 game on Thursday Night Football.

The 2-10 Patriots are holding on in last place in the AFC, and could be the second team overall eliminated from postseason contention this year. The 1-11 Carolina Panthers have already had their playoff hopes dashed.

The Steelers will eliminate the Patriots with either a win or a tie at Acrisure Stadium on Thursday night. That would mean no playoffs for the first time in consecutive seasons for the Patriots since 1999 and 2000. The Pats have missed the postseason in two of the last three seasons and haven’t won a playoff game since winning Super Bowl LIII at the end of the 2018 season.

zSteelers are heavily favored to beat the Pats. But even if New England gets past the Steelers, the Patriots’ chances of making the playoffs might not survive the weekend. They can also be eliminated with either a Cincinnati Bengals win or tie, a Houston Texans win or tie, or a Buffalo Bills win or tie combined with a Las Vegas Raiders win.

There are two other teams at risk in Week 14. The 3-10 Arizona Cardinals can be eliminated from playoff contention during their bye week with a Los Angeles Rams win over the Baltimore Ravens and a Green Bay Packers victory over the New York Giants, or a Rams win, a Giants tie and a Minnesota Vikings win or tie.

The final scenario is a long shot, but the Tennessee Titans are also technically at risk. The 4-8 Titans, who are the No. 15 seed in the AFC entering the week, can be bounced from contention with the combination of a loss to the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football, a win by the Steelers, a win by the Indianapolis Colts, a Houston Texans win or tie and the game between the Cleveland Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars ending in a tie.

WEEK 14 Playoff Elimination Scenarios

NE eliminated with

• NE loss/tie
• CIN loss/tie
• HOU loss/tie
• BUF win + LV win/tie
• BUF tie + LV win

ARI eliminated with

• LAR win + GB win
• LAR win + GB tie + MIN win/tie

TEN eliminated with

• TEN loss + IND win + PIT win + HOU win/tie + JAX/CLE tie