View Full Version : Steelers can't go to playoffs yet but might if planets align

12-07-2006, 12:18 AM
Prisuta: Steelers can't go to playoffs yet but might if planets align

By Mike Prisuta
Thursday, December 7, 2006

The Steelers' official mantra the rest of the way is to "take this one game at a time and let the chips fall where they may."

So says Bill Cowher, who all but officially wrote his team off following the Nov. 26 debacle in Baltimore but is now leaving the door open just a crack.

To extend their season, the Steelers have to beat not only Cleveland tonight at Heinz Field, but also Carolina, Baltimore and Cincinnati in succession and then hope for a myriad of chips to fall just right.

It's a lot to ask for, enough that if the subject comes up again Cowher ought to respond with his best Jim Mora ("PLAYOFFS?") impersonation before moving on to more legitimate considerations.

Just for the sake of argument, let's assume for the moment that the Steelers finish 4-0 and wind up at 9-7.

What else has to happen?

Glad you asked, because under the following scenario the Steelers can actually sneak into the playoffs ("PLAYOFFS?") just as they did a year ago:

? The New York Jets (7-5) lose to Buffalo, at Minnesota and at Miami, and beat Oakland to finish 8-8.

? The Cincinnati Bengals (7-5) beat Oakland but lose at Indianapolis, at Denver and at home to the Steelers and finish 8-8.

? The Jacksonville Jaguars (7-5) lose to Indianapolis, win at Tennessee, lose to New England, lose at Kansas City and finish 8-8.

? The Kansas City Chiefs (7-5) lose to Baltimore, lose at San Diego, win at Oakland, beat Jacksonville and finish 9-7.

? The Denver Broncos (7-5) lose at San Diego, win at Arizona, beat Cincinnati and beat San Francisco to finish 10-6.

If all of that somehow transpires, the Steelers would be tied with the Chiefs and advance as the AFC's No. 6 seed based on head-to-head superiority over Kansas City.

Such a potential eventuality also would require Buffalo, Miami and Tennessee (all 5-7) to lose one more game.

Buffalo and Miami still meet, as do Buffalo and Tennessee.

Simple, isn't it?

There are other scenarios, presumably, but this one appears to be the most realistic.

The critical games involved are the Bills at the Jets this Sunday, the Jaguars at the Chiefs on Dec. 31 and the Bengals at the Broncos on Christmas Eve.

The Steelers likely won't be able to survive a tie with the Jets at 9-7 (conference record), and will need to finish ahead of the Jaguars and tied with the Chiefs (head-to-head).

They'll also require the Broncos to beat the Bengals with Jay Cutler at quarterback.

And, of course, the Steelers have to hold up their end.

That might be the reach of all reaches given that the Steelers haven't won more than two consecutive games all season.

For now, it's reason enough to take 'em one at a time and hope the chips fall as required.


tony hipchest
12-07-2006, 12:30 AM
the fact that an article like this can even be written is more proof that the 3rd game of the season vs. the bengals was a "must win" game.

hopefully next year the steelers will appraoch EVERY game as a must win and not have to rely on the last 4 + some help.

although the #1 seed didnt yield a sb in '01 and '04, it is still something to strive for.

im not holding my breath.

oakland, atlanta, and cincinatti will leave a sour taste in the teams mouth. as well it should.

12-07-2006, 01:06 AM
Too true... if we won those three games, we would be 8-4, looking at a wild-card birth

12-07-2006, 08:36 AM
What's sad is someone sat down and took the time to figure all that mathematical stuff up.
Right now I don't want the IFs and THENs, I want Ws!!!!

12-07-2006, 07:03 PM
anything is possible.i remember in the mid-late 90,s the steelers snuck into the playoffs totally unexpected but lost to the jets.every team that needed to lose did lose.cowher was head coach.i just dont remember the exact yr.anyways....ill be watching the game tonite @ my sisters.thank god they have a satellite dish.game starts in a hour.time to get ready.lets hope for a win.

12-07-2006, 07:48 PM
It just shows that one of those games that we could have won, and should have, is haunting us now.

12-08-2006, 02:13 AM
I'll take it. That scenario is not beyond belief.

The hardest of them all is the Jets. Their schedule is so easy.


12-08-2006, 11:19 AM
We can go 9-7 and I think we will.

However,the team better not even think playoffs.Just focus on the next game.focus on a winning record.

12-08-2006, 02:08 PM
the carolina panthers believe their remaining schedule is easy.the steelers play the panthers in carolina on the 17th.i sure hope they prove them wrong.hines may be back by then.even if the steelers dont get into the playoffs my christmas wish is for them to win their remaining 3 games and totally rip baltimore apart.i despise lewis.....always have.if they play like they did last night,anythings possible.the damn jets have a easy schedule left & they are 7-5.lets hope for some upsets.

Cape Cod Steel Head
12-09-2006, 02:44 PM
Why do the Bungholes have to beat Oakland? Isn't the important part that they wind up 8-8?