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Pittsburgh Steelers: All They Want for Christmas is Some Help to Make the Playoffs

The Pittsburgh Steelers not only defeated the Green Bay Packers Sunday, they also vanquished the Grinch.

Unlike last year, the Steelers can keep a playoff berth on their Christmas wish list. In 2012, they were mathematically eliminated two days before Christmas with a 13-10 loss at home to the Cincinnati Bengals.

To make the playoffs the Steelers (7-8) have to beat the Cleveland Browns (4-11) Sunday at Heinz Field. They’ll also be ringing a bell hoping some other teams can drop a little something into their bucket.

Yes, the Steelers are a needy team.

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Pittsburgh Steelers Keep Playoff Hopes Alive With Wild Win over Packers

What a wild and wacky 2013 season it’s been for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

They defeated the Green Bay Packers 38-31 Sunday to remain alive, but still not well, in the race for the final playoff spot in the AFC.

The Steelers (7-8) must beat the Browns at home Sunday and have three other games go their way to make the playoffs, but who would have thought they’d have something to play for in Week 17 after starting the season 0-4?

Who would have thought in 2013 that we’d see a team-record 55 points scored on the Steelers, nine touchdown catches by Jerricho Cotchery, eight sacks by Jason Worilds, controversy over Mike Tomlin’s foot and heartbreak over Antonio Brown’s foot?

And a partridge in a pear tree?

The craziness of the Steelers’ season was, well, packed into a single afternoon at Lambeau Field.

And then some.

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Pittsburgh Steelers 2013 Playoff Flowchart for Week 16

The Pittsburgh Steelers won’t have to face Aaron Rodgers Sunday in Green Bay, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Matt Flynn will start for the Packers in place of Rodgers, who will miss his seventh straight game with a broken collarbone.

That gives the Steelers a boost in this game. It also improves their chances of making the playoffs.

The Steelers (6-8) must win their final two games and get all sorts of help to make the playoffs. If they went up against Rodgers Sunday, their chances of making the playoffs would equal the chances of an average man dating a supermodel. Now that they don’t have to worry about Rodgers, their chances of making the playoffs now are like the chances of an average man dating a supermodel under six feet tall.

In other words, it’s still pretty much impossible no matter who plays quarterback for the Packers.

Keeping track of every game that must go the Steelers’ way to keep their playoff hopes alive can be as difficult as it’s been for Jarvis Jones to learn Dick LeBeau’s defense. But our handy-dandy Steeler Addicts Pittsburgh Steelers playoff flowchart makes it easy.

Here are a few tips to help you navigate the chart:

  • This week’s games are in white boxes.
  • Next week’s games are in gray boxes.
  • Times were not included for next week’s games because the NFL tends to change Week 17 game times based on playoff implications.

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Steelers 2013 Playoff Flowchart (Week 16)

Pittsburgh Steelers Beat Cincinnati Bengals, Show They Still Have Plenty of Fight Left

One thing’s for sure about the 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers.

They don’t quit.

They didn’t quit after starting the season 0-4.

They didn’t quit after one of the most humiliating losses in their history at New England.

They didn’t quit after last week’s loss to the Dolphins, their most heartbreaking defeat in the post-Tebow era.

The Steelers kept their infinitesimal playoff hopes alive Sunday night with a 30-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field.

A week earlier, the Steelers stood dazed on the snow-covered Heinz Field grass, incredulous that a last-second miracle could be taken away – along with any realistic chance of making the playoffs – because Antonio Brown stepped out of bounds.

The Steelers didn’t allow Sunday’s game to be decided by a few inches. They tied a franchise record for points in the first quarter, taking a 21-0 lead.

Even though they entered the game riding a three-game winning streak and had a chance to climb into the No. 2 seed in the AFC, the Bengals looked like the team trying to recover from an emotional loss.

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Pittsburgh Steelers Can Lose to Bengals Sunday and Still Have Chance to Make Playoffs

I blame you, Steelers.

It’s your fault my journalistic accuracy has been compromised this week.

First, I wrote that a Dolphins win over the Patriots Sunday afternoon would mathematically eliminate the Steelers from playoff contention, regardless of what the Steelers do against the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday night.

That was wrong.

Then I wrote that a Steelers loss to the Bengals at Heinz Field would officially knock them out of the playoff race.

Not necessarily, it turns out.

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Steelers’ Fans Need To Be Patient With Jarvis Jones

Going into the 2013 NFL Draft, I wasn’t too high on Jarvis Jones and was hoping one of the top guards would drop the Steelers in Chance Warmack or Jonathan Cooper. I didn’t really have a good reason to be down on Jones and was going more just on a feeling I had about him. Once the Steelers did draft Jones however, I chose to trust the front office and hope that I was proven wrong. We can all agree or disagree with any pick in the draft but honestly, what do any of us know? Even if I disagree with it I’ll always trust the Steelers to make the right decision.
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Pittsburgh Steelers Week 15 Scoreboard-Watching Guide

The 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers might be bleeding in a ditch, but they still have a playoff pulse.

A loss at home to the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday night would officially pull the plug on the Steelers’ playoff chances, but despite a previous report in this space, the Steelers (5-8) cannot be knocked out of the playoff race before Sunday night.

In our account of the Miami Dolphins’ 34-28 win over the Steelers Sunday, we said that a Dolphins win over the New England Patriots Sunday afternoon would mathematically eliminate the Steelers from playoff contention.

Apparently our math needs a little work. It also would help to know advanced calculus when trying to figure out the NFL playoff picture.

Sure, the Steelers would benefit from a Patriots win in Miami. The Dolphins (7-6) own the tiebreaker over the Steelers and an eighth Miami win would reduce the Steelers’ playoff odds to that of winning a nine-figure lottery jackpot and meeting the Pope in the same day.

So Steelers fans must hold their nose while rooting for the hated Patriots Sunday. Such is the tangled web the Steelers weave when they start a season 0-4.

And a New England win Sunday is just one part of the Rube Goldberg-like sequence of help the Steelers need to make the playoffs. Of course they must do their part by beating the Bengals Sunday, the Packers at Green Bay in Week 16 and the Browns at home in Week 17.

There will be a lot of scoreboard watching in Week 15 both before and after the Steelers’ game against the Bengals, and it begins Thursday.

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Pittsburgh Steelers’ 34-28 Loss to Miami Dolphins Prolongs Agony of the Feet

Last week, Mike Tomlin cost the Pittsburgh Steelers a draft pick by sticking his foot inbounds.

This week, Antonio Brown cost the Steelers any realistic shot at a playoff berth by sticking his foot out of bounds.

That’s the kind of season it’s been.

The Steelers trailed by six on the game’s final play when Ben Roethlisberger completed a pass to Emmanuel Sanders at the Steelers’ 33-yard line.

With no time left on the clock, Sanders lateraled to Jerricho Cotchery.

Cotchery lateraled to Le’Veon Bell.

Bell lateraled to Marcus Gilbert.

Gilbert lateraled to Roethlisberger.

Roethlisberger lateraled to Brown.

At this point, the ball was on the opposite side of the field, and Brown found an opening. He ran 67 yards down the left sideline, all the way to the end zone.

For a second, it looked like Steelers fans would fondly remember the Immaculate Lateral for decades to come.

Sanders, Cotchery, Bell, Gilbert, Roethlisberger and Brown connected like rosary beads across the thin sheet of snow to answer the Steelers’ prayer.

All they needed was Shaun Suisham’s extra point, and the Steelers would beat the Dolphins with a miracle for the ages.

Except that Brown stepped out of bounds at the 15-yard line.

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Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins Might Again Meet in Bad Weather

Can the Pittsburgh Steelers stop Mike Wallace Sunday when he returns to Heinz Field as a Miami Dolphin?

If Ike Taylor continues to struggle, the speed that burned Steelers opponents from 2009 to 2012 could burn the Steelers in a game they must win to have any realistic chance of making the playoffs.

Taylor might get a little help covering Wallace, however. And we’re not just talking about safety help.

We’re talking about help from Mother Nature.

According to NFLweather.com, snow is expected for Sunday’s game. A slippery field might slow down Wallace a little.

If it does snow, it wouldn’t be the first time the Dolphins and Steelers have played each other against a backdrop of extreme weather.

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Pittsburgh Steelers Must Find a Way to Re-Sign Jason Worilds

Just a few weeks ago, it looked like the Pittsburgh Steelers couldn’t afford to keep Jason Worilds in 2014.

The 25-year-old Worilds becomes an unrestricted free agent after this season. In his first three seasons, the outside linebacker had just 10 sacks. Considering their salary-cap constraints, it seemed like a no-brainer for the Steelers to let him go.

Now, if he keeps playing the way he has, the Steelers can’t afford not to keep Worilds.

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