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Steelers Clinch Playoff Spot With Jaguars Loss




Thanks to a Tennessee Titans’ 28-20 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers have secured a spot in the 2023 NFL postseason. Pittsburgh will go to either Buffalo, Kansas City or Miami in the wild-card round.

If Buffalo beats Miami on Sunday night, the Steelers will meet the Bills in Orchard Park next week. However, if Miami defeats the Bills, the Steelers will bump up to the No. 6 seed and face the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs at Arrowhead. The Bills also clinched a playoff spot with the Jaguars’ loss. The Steelers have the tiebreaker over Buffalo, which is why they would be the No. 6 seed if Buffalo lost to Miami. The Steelers would go to Miami if the Dolphins and Bills tie.

In possibly his final game as a Titan, All-Pro running back Derrick Henry went off against Jacksonville, rushing for 153 yards on 19 carries (8.1 average) and a touchdown. Running back Tyjae Spears also had a touchdown reception and rushing score.

Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence had two costly interceptions in the first half, which contributed to the Titans’ 21-13 lead at halftime. The first interception was by former Steeler Terrell Edmunds deep in Jaguars territory. Six plays later, Spears ran up the middle for a 3-yard touchdown.

Lawrence has been dealing with shoulder and finger injuries and also missed his team’s Week 17 win over the Carolina Panthers. Lawrence was limited in both of the Jaguars’ practices so far this week.

Henry ripped off a 69-yard run to start the second half. Ryan Tannehill then found DeAndre Hopkins on a 6-yard touchdown to increase the Titans’ lead to 28-13. Jacksonville answered early in the fourth quarter with a 14-yard touchdown pass by Lawrence to Evan Engram to cut the lead to 28-20.

Following a Tannehill interception, the Jaguars got down to the 1-yard line, but Lawrence got stopped short on fourth-and-goal. The Jaguars got one more chance, but Lawrence was unable to muster anything.

The Steelers had a 9% chance of making the playoffs on the morning of Dec. 24, according to the New York Times playoff simulator. The season appeared to be over, but Mason Rudolph’s stellar play led the charge to three straight wins to end the regular season.

The Steelers will find out their playoff destination late on Sunday night. They’ll be looking for their first playoff win since the 2016 season.