PITTSBURGH — The Steelers playoff hopes are forcing them into a must-win scenario against the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday. For a team that wants their playoff hopes to continue, a loss to the Colts would essentially end any thought of making it to the postseason unless they ran the table. According to Pro Football Focus, if they win, Pittsburgh’s playoff odds shoot up to 56 percent but can fall to as low as 12 percent in a loss.
But don’t just ask the machines, ask any player in the Steelers locker room. The Steelers’ playoff hopes, and Colts’ for that matter, largely ride on this game.
This is a playoff game in my eyes. It’s a game that if we win, it boosts our chances of getting into the playoffs by a lot. If we lose, it takes us pretty much out of the playoffs,” safety Minkah Fitzpatrick said.
Patrick Peterson gave the game a different glaze but is nonetheless treating it like a playoff game. He looks at it favorably since Pittsburgh controls its own destiny. And that is true, to be in this spot gives the Steelers a unique advantage where they do not have a scoreboard watch and can instead focus on their own games.
There will be some scoreboard-watching this weekend to give the Steelers more favorable odds of making it to playoffs if they can pull off a win. But the implications from their own game are clear as day. The team needs to win this one if they want to get back to the dance.
For all the problems the team faces, from injuries to coaching, they are in this thing still, and in a favorable spot if they can take care of their own business. It’s that simple. If they win, they will likely be in the playoffs. But if they lose, it might as well be time to start looking at the offseason to see what they can do from here.