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Steelers Playoffs: Exactly What Needs to Happen to Stay Alive in Week 17



Steelers Playoffs Seahawks Patriots

The Pittsburgh Steelers are down to their last final games, and they need to win and get a good deal of help to stay alive in the AFC Wild Card playoffs race. For Week 17, here’s exactly how things must play out for the Steelers to stay alive.

SUNDAY, 1 P.M: Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots

Miami WIN: The Steelers are eliminated.

Miami LOSS or TIE: The Steelers remain alive until their game is played later on Sunday. A Miami tie is actually somewhat better for the Steelers, as it opens up on additional pathway to the postseason.

What the bookies say: With Tua Tagovailoa sidelined in the concussion protocol and Teddy Bridgewater (0-1) set to make his second start of the season, the oddsmakers favor the homesteading Patriots, though not by much. The Patriots are 2.5-point favorites in the game. 

History: The Dolphins beat the Pats, 20-7, in the season opener back in September. The Dolphins have lost four straight games. The Patriots have lost four of their last five games. In head-to-head meetings, Miami has beaten New England in four straight games dating back to 2020.

Where it’s on: This game will be carried in Pittsburgh on KDKA-TV and across large portions of the country on CBS. Cleveland, Cincinnati, Charlotte, Atlanta, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Phoenix and Los Angeles are some of the other markets carrying this one. Full map from 506 Sports.

SUNDAY, 4:05 P.M: New York Jets at Seattle Seahawks

NYJ WIN: The Steelers are not technically eliminated, but they would need the Jets and Miami to tie in Week 18 to remain alive.

NYJ LOSS or TIE: Steelers keep their primary path to playoffs open until their game is played later on Sunday. There is almost no difference between a Jets loss and tie.

What the bookies say: The Jets are getting quarterback Mike White back from a rib injury, and it seems like he’s expected to make a big difference. Despite having lost four straight games and traveling across the country, the Jets are 1.5-point favorites over the Seahawks.

History: The Jets have lost four straight against Seattle, dating back to 2008. Seahawks starting quarterback Geno Smith will be making his first career start against the team that drafted him. He did get to play in mop-up duty in a 40-3 Seahawks win over the Jets in 2020, the last meeting between the teams.

Where it’s on: This game is on FOX, but according to 506 Sports, WPGH-TV in Pittsburgh will show the Cleveland Browns at the Washington Commanders instead of this one. Outside of Seattle and New York, this game will air in Buffalo and in Boston. Other than that, Steelers fans will need to subscribe to NFL Sunday Ticket to watch the fate of their team play out live on Sunday afternoon. Or just head to the bar.

SUNDAY, 8:15 P.M: Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens

Pittsburgh LOSS: The Steelers are eliminated with a loss.

Pittsburgh WIN or TIE: The Steelers will get to stay alive for at least another week with a win or tie. A tie has one fewer path to the postseason than a win does, and a tie will not work for the Steelers if either of the other two games have already tied.

What the bookies say: The Steelers probably should worry less about their help and more about themselves. As 2.5-point underdogs, the Steelers have the smallest implied odds of winning of any team they need to win this week.

History: The Steelers have won four of the last five in the rivalry, but of course, they lost the most recent one in Pittsburgh. The Ravens haven’t swept the Steelers since 2019.

Where it’s on: This one is for the whole country to see on NBC’s Sunday Night Football and WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh, where our Alan Saunders will be part of the pregame coverage.

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