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fordfixer
12-13-2009, 03:12 AM
Steelers: Playoffs? It could happen, maybe

By: Mike Bires
Beaver County Times
http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sport ... maybe.html (http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sports_details/article/1501/2009/december/13/steelers-playoffs-it-could-happen-maybe.html)

Sunday December 13, 2009 12:05 AM

PITTSBURGH — Before losing in Cleveland, cornerback Ike Taylor described the Steelers’ playoff hopes as “slimmer than a dog on a diet.”

But this weekend as most NFL teams played enter the final quarter of the regular season, the Steelers’ hopes are virtually impossible.

“Playoffs are pretty much over with,” wide receiver Hines Ward said Thursday night after a shocking 13-6 loss to the Browns, who were 1-11 at the time. “Right now, we are just playing for pride.”

At 6-7, the Steelers are not yet officially eliminated. Yet.

Beside their overall record, their 4-6 record in conference play and 1-4 mark in AFC North games puts them at a disadvantage in most tie-breaking categories.

With six playoff spots available in the AFC, the Steelers are behind nine teams in the chase.

For them to miraculously get in as a wild card, several things have to happen. Foremost is the Steelers snapping a five-game losing skid and winning their last three games.

“Man, we haven’t won a game in five weeks,” coach Mike Tomlin said when asked about the Steelers’ flickering playoff hopes. “We’re just trying to win a football game.”
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The Steelers also need plenty of help. They need teams ahead of them to lose most of their remaining games. Most or all of the following have to happen:

The Chargers (9-3), who lead the AFC West by virtue of a seven-game winning streak, would have to lose their last four.

The Broncos (8-4) would have to lose at least three of their last four.

The Jaguars (7-5) would have to lose at least three of their last four.

The Dolphins (6-6) would have to lose at least two games, including their season finale against the Steelers.

The Ravens (6-6) would have to lose their last two games, at Pittsburgh and at Oakland.

The Jets (6-6) would have to lose their last game, at home against Cincinnati.

All that AND the Steelers winning out.

buckeyehoppy
12-13-2009, 08:39 PM
All of the following scenarios are predicated on the Steelers winning out, which, FTR, I'm not holding my breath on. OTOH, stranger things have happened and if all of this fell into place, you'd think the Steelers would have a decent head of steam going into the tournament. Another FTR, we are currently 11th in the AFC.

Let's look at this team by team:

5.Denver: 8-5
Sun, Dec 20 Oakland
Sun, Dec 27 @ Philadelphia
Sun, Jan 03 Kansas City

Analysis: Denver would have lose home games against Oakland and Kansas City. The outcome of the roadie v. Philly doesn't matter as long as they lose the two home games since we would then own the tie-breaker (head-to-head). OAK and KC both beat us and we crushed DEN, so it could happen. Then again, I could grow wings outta my spine and become buckeyehoppy the griffin.

Likelihood: Slim and none, and slim is tap dancing in a bathtub full of banana peels

Projected Record: 10-6

NOTE: At this point, the remaining teams all have at least one game of wiggle room for us. IOW, they could win one. But, they would have to lose the others, for the most part.

6.Jacksonville: 7-6
Thu, Dec 17 Indianapolis
Sun, Dec 27 @ New England
Sun, Jan 03 @ Cleveland

Analysis: JAX has to lose the next two. Which, conveniently enough, is likely to happen. That may be particularly true if Buffalo, somehow, beats NE next weekend. If JAX loses the next two weeks, their almost guaranteed win @ CLE would be a moot point.

Likelihood: Pretty good and possibly better than that if BUF beats NE next week.

Projected Record: 8-8

7.Baltimore: 7-6
Sun, Dec 20 Chicago
Sun, Dec 27 @ Pittsburgh
Sun, Jan 03 @ Oakland

Analysis: Obviously, we must beat them at home first. Then, we'd need either CHI or OAK to help with the other loss we'd need. That would be a tall order. But not totally out of the realm of possibility.

Likelihood: 50-50 at best. However, OAK is a road game and the road hasn't exactly been the Rattards best friend this season.

Projected Record: 8-8

8.Miami: 7-6
Sun, Dec 20 @ Tennessee
Sun, Dec 27 Houston
Sun, Jan 03 Pittsburgh

Analysis: Obviously, we must beat them OTR first. The fact that they are playing @ TEN would have to make your average Steelers Kool-Aid drinker very excited since TEN looks like they are on a mission right now. Since relying on HOU to beat them on their home field seems like a pipe dream, the road loss seems more realistic... and, at this point, likely.

Likelihood: Another 50-50. But, you have to like TEN chances against them at home.

Projected Record: 8-8

9.NY Jets: 7-6
Sun, Dec 20 Atlanta
Sun, Dec 27 @ Indianapolis
Sun, Jan 03 Cincinnati

Analysis: Figuring that IND will take care of one of the needed losses, we'll focus on the other two games. Both their home games are vs. teams that either need wins to keep hope alive (ATL) or may need to win to secure a bye week (CIN). IMO, it's possible, if not probable for a visiting team to win one in the Meadowlands.

Likelihood: Good. We are talking about the Jets here.

Projected Record: 8-8

NOTE: We are now at the point where these teams are equal with us. Just one loss would put them behind us.

10.Houston: 6-7
Sun, Dec 20 @ St. Louis
Sun, Dec 27 @ Miami
Sun, Jan 03 New England

Analysis: Seeing that either a home loss to NE or a road loss to MIA is a virtual certainty, there's not much to discuss here.

Likelihood: Nearly a lock.

Projected Record: 7-9

12.Tennessee: 6-7
Sun, Dec 20 Miami
Fri, Dec 25 San Diego
Sun, Jan 03 @ Seattle

Analysis: Since they've been trending up by necessity, their chances are better than we'd think. They should win one of their two home games, at least. And, seeing that the road game is @ SEA, pulling for a San Diego win under the tree isn't a bad request, under the circumstances. Although, at the end of the day, we still have a tie-breaker with them head-to-head.

Likelihood: Good, especially since we have the tie-breaker anyway.

Projected Record: 8-8

Wolfhound45
12-13-2009, 09:21 PM
I love the "never say die" optimism. Wish a few of our players would have had that, at least on Thursday night.

But, having said that...

"War's over, man. Wormer dropped the big one."

http://www.filmdope.com/Gallery/ActorsM/11602-13443.gif

Or at least Tomlin did. For me 2009 is simply a memory of what could have been. Will cheer them on to the end, but I have no hope that this team will be in the playoffs.

buckeyehoppy
12-13-2009, 09:54 PM
I love the "never say die" optimism. Wish a few of our players would have had that, at least on Thursday night.

But, having said that...

"War's over, man. Wormer dropped the big one."

http://www.filmdope.com/Gallery/ActorsM/11602-13443.gif

Or at least Tomlin did. For me 2009 is simply a memory of what could have been. Will cheer them on to the end, but I have no hope that this team will be in the playoffs.

You're probably right, Wolfie. I'm just playing the role of the Kool-Aid drinker here.

Realistically, unless a lot of things break our way AND we win out, we're probably already looking at the off-season. I'd like us to try and play the spoiler. We could cost all three of our remaining opponents a playoff berth.

In the case of Green Bay, they are probably already in unless NYG and PHI win out after tonight. If PHI wins, NYG would be in the same situation as we are.

In the case of BAL and MIA. They are still on the outside looking in. We hold their cards, especially if we're the underdogs.

I plan on watching the rest of these games anyway. Sadistic, I know. But, until we are eliminated officially, I need these guys to defend their championship. I don't need them lying prone waiting to take it in the crap pipe because they don't feel like playing anymore.

brothervad
12-13-2009, 09:57 PM
FWIW, on NBC tonight they interviewed Bill Polian of the Colts. He basically said now that they have clinched...they owe nothing to anyone wrt playing starters and that the undefeated record is unimportant and keeping healthy is. (not verbatim but it was the gist).

My guess is the Indy Colts will play their starters 1 quarter againt the Jags. I don't necessarily think this is a lock for the Jags to lose.

Hell, after we lose to the Packers it will be irrelevant. Sorry the only faith I have in a team that has lost 5 in a row to the like of KC, Oak, Cleveland is that they will lose.

brothervad

buckeyehoppy
12-13-2009, 10:31 PM
FWIW, on NBC tonight they interviewed Bill Polian of the Colts. He basically said now that they have clinched...they owe nothing to anyone wrt playing starters and that the undefeated record is unimportant and keeping healthy is. (not verbatim but it was the gist).

My guess is the Indy Colts will play their starters 1 quarter againt the Jags. I don't necessarily think this is a lock for the Jags to lose.

Hell, after we lose to the Packers it will be irrelevant. Sorry the only faith I have in a team that has lost 5 in a row to the like of KC, Oak, Cleveland is that they will lose.

brothervad

You can't be blamed.

Yeah, sure, we beat MIN, SD and DEN... all will be in the playoffs. One, maybe two, will be in the SB.

But we also lost to KC, OAK, and CLE... in that order. All will be drafting in the top 10 in the draft.

And we lost to the latter three before we beat the former three.

So the question really is: do we deserve it even if we win the last three games?

JTP53609
12-14-2009, 08:34 AM
i cant believe it but, there is probably a 5% chance....based on how much we dont want to win (the steelers), I think it may be even lower, but you never know,
if denver lost to oakland and philly and we win out than we have the tie breaker dont we??, the jets will lose once and hopefully those teams in front of us will choke, lucky for us we have the hardest part of our schedule ahead hahaha...

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
12-14-2009, 09:58 AM
It is simple. Steelers must win out...Obviously. The only other thing to watch for is the Ravens need to drop 2 out of 3. 1 could be the Steelers but they need to lose another. Unless that happens...Everything else won't matter. Some things happened this weekend to help but you want to be sitting #2 in the division when it comes to wildcard. I honestly think the rest will play out for them. I'm more concerned with the Ravens dropping 2. They don't "definately" need that to happen but the odds more than double if it does.

JTP53609
12-14-2009, 01:09 PM
It is simple. Steelers must win out...Obviously. The only other thing to watch for is the Ravens need to drop 2 out of 3. 1 could be the Steelers but they need to lose another. Unless that happens...Everything else won't matter. Some things happened this weekend to help but you want to be sitting #2 in the division when it comes to wildcard. I honestly think the rest will play out for them. I'm more concerned with the Ravens dropping 2. They don't "definately" need that to happen but the odds more than double if it does.


i hate the ravens, but that is the difference between them and us....they destroy the inferior teams, they usually do, your right, next weeks ravens vs bears game is like a playoff game for us...we need the bears, ..

oh yea the other difference between us and the rats is 6 to 1...

Wolfhound45
12-14-2009, 06:55 PM
I love the "never say die" optimism. Wish a few of our players would have had that, at least on Thursday night.

But, having said that...

"War's over, man. Wormer dropped the big one."

http://www.filmdope.com/Gallery/ActorsM/11602-13443.gif

Or at least Tomlin did. For me 2009 is simply a memory of what could have been. Will cheer them on to the end, but I have no hope that this team will be in the playoffs.

You're probably right, Wolfie. I'm just playing the role of the Kool-Aid drinker here.

Realistically, unless a lot of things break our way AND we win out, we're probably already looking at the off-season. I'd like us to try and play the spoiler. We could cost all three of our remaining opponents a playoff berth.

In the case of Green Bay, they are probably already in unless NYG and PHI win out after tonight. If PHI wins, NYG would be in the same situation as we are.

In the case of BAL and MIA. They are still on the outside looking in. We hold their cards, especially if we're the underdogs.

I plan on watching the rest of these games anyway. Sadistic, I know. But, until we are eliminated officially, I need these guys to defend their championship. I don't need them lying prone waiting to take it in the crap pipe because they don't feel like playing anymore.

You are the man buckeyehoppy. Keep believing. The Chief would want it that way!

:tt1 :tt2

pfelix73
12-14-2009, 10:06 PM
I actually think that IF we could figure out a way to go on a 3 game winning streak, we'd make the playoffs.. It would suk to see them win the GB game, win the Rats game, and then go to Miami and lay a goose egg against their wildcat.

RuthlessBurgher
12-15-2009, 12:05 AM
I actually think that IF we could figure out a way to go on a 3 game winning streak, we'd make the playoffs.. It would suk to see them win the GB game, win the Rats game, and then go to Miami and lay a goose egg against their wildcat.

I don't believe that Miami has been using much of the wildcat since Ronnie Brown went on I.R. I think Chad Henne's been a traditional QB, and Ricky Williams a traditional RB.

buckeyehoppy
12-15-2009, 01:41 AM
I love the "never say die" optimism. Wish a few of our players would have had that, at least on Thursday night.

But, having said that...

"War's over, man. Wormer dropped the big one."

http://www.filmdope.com/Gallery/ActorsM/11602-13443.gif

Or at least Tomlin did. For me 2009 is simply a memory of what could have been. Will cheer them on to the end, but I have no hope that this team will be in the playoffs.

You're probably right, Wolfie. I'm just playing the role of the Kool-Aid drinker here.

Realistically, unless a lot of things break our way AND we win out, we're probably already looking at the off-season. I'd like us to try and play the spoiler. We could cost all three of our remaining opponents a playoff berth.

In the case of Green Bay, they are probably already in unless NYG and PHI win out after tonight. If PHI wins, NYG would be in the same situation as we are.

In the case of BAL and MIA. They are still on the outside looking in. We hold their cards, especially if we're the underdogs.

I plan on watching the rest of these games anyway. Sadistic, I know. But, until we are eliminated officially, I need these guys to defend their championship. I don't need them lying prone waiting to take it in the crap pipe because they don't feel like playing anymore.

You are the man buckeyehoppy. Keep believing. The Chief would want it that way!

:tt1 :tt2

Any real fan would do it that way anyway. I'm hanging in... these are MY GUYS!!!

:tt1 :tt1 :tt1 :tt2 :tt2 :tt2 :Cheers

JTP53609
12-15-2009, 08:07 AM
Im hanging with my guys too, (i am still dissapointed in myself because I watched a minute of the Penguin game DURING the steelers game in the third qtr..)
but I honestly believe that IF they win out they have a GOOD shot..

-the jets will lose 2, the key is if the bengals are still playing in week 17 and if the colts keep playing next weekend...
-the jags will lose 2, again the colts wil play this week i hope and next week they have the pats at NE in a must win for the pats....
-as long as all the above plays out than if we beat the fins we are okay to leapfrog them....
-than the hardest part is the broncos/ravens, we need one of them to lose 2 games, the bears game this week at baltimore is huge as is the raiders at denver, if one of those goes our way than I feel we are in good shape....

all we need to do is beat GB to get the wins rolling...

buckeyehoppy
12-18-2009, 02:01 AM
Im hanging with my guys too, (i am still dissapointed in myself because I watched a minute of the Penguin game DURING the steelers game in the third qtr..)
but I honestly believe that IF they win out they have a GOOD shot..

-the jets will lose 2, the key is if the bengals are still playing in week 17 and if the colts keep playing next weekend...
-the jags will lose 2, again the colts wil play this week i hope and next week they have the pats at NE in a must win for the pats....
-as long as all the above plays out than if we beat the fins we are okay to leapfrog them....
-than the hardest part is the broncos/ravens, we need one of them to lose 2 games, the bears game this week at baltimore is huge as is the raiders at denver, if one of those goes our way than I feel we are in good shape....

all we need to do is beat GB to get the wins rolling...

And, I think, that's what I'm talking about. If we do win out (seems unlikely, I know), then we aren't talking Steelers of the 70s-type teams competing for the #6 playoff berth. Actually, if any team is ranked 5th or higher in the AFC right now, these teams are our friends for the duration.

I'm not worried about DEN, because there's no way in Hades that we can even equal them. They still have one more game @ home w/KC. KC was horrible going into their game w/us and have been horrible ever since. Their game with us was an aberration. We aren't catching DEN. Everyone else is catchable and there is, at least, a likelihood that it could happen.