Steelers’ playoff chances in question after loss to Raiders
Three weeks ago, the Pittsburgh Steelers were a team on the rise and seemed like a lock to win the AFC North. They had won six in a row and were 7-3-1. Then they lost at Denver, blew a huge lead against the Chargers at home on Sunday night, and they lost to the Oakland Raiders on the road Sunday.
Now at 7-5-1, it’s fair to wonder whether Pittsburgh will even make the playoffs.
The Steelers host the New England Patriots next week, visit the Saints in Week 16, and then host the Bengals in Week 17. Only the game against Cincinnati looks like an expected win.
The Ravens, who are 7-6 and pose the biggest threat to win the AFC North, have the Bucs at home, Chargers away, and Browns at home to finish the season. They could realistically end up 9-7, which would edge Pittsburgh for the division if the Steelers go 1-2 over their next three. In that scenario, the Steelers would be battling the Dolphins, Titans and Colts (all 7-6) for the final wild card spot.
Pittsburgh’s game against New England next week is a must-win game for them. They need to go 2-1 over their final three to put themselves in a good spot to make the playoffs. With the Patriots coming off an embarrassing loss to Miami, New England will be no pushover.