Steelers Clinch Playoff Berth After Raiders Beat Chargers on Sunday Night Football
Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images. Pictured: Ben Roethlisberger
- Here's how the Pittsburgh Steelers clinched a spot in the playoffs.
Update: Thanks to their overtime win over the Ravens and the Colts’ loss to the Jaguars, the Steelers’ playoff hopes hinged on Sunday Night Football ending in a tie.
While there was a sweat in the end, the Raiders beat the Chargers, giving the Steelers the No. 7 spot in the AFC.
In what is expected to be his final season — at least in Pittsburgh — does Ben Roethlisberger have any magic left to get the Steelers into the NFL playoffs?
The perennial AFC contenders have a chance heading into Week 18 to secure a postseason berth, but they’ll need some help.
According to our expert Travis Reed’s simulations, Pittsburgh has a 5% chance of making the postseason as the No. 7 seed.
So how do the Steelers get there?
First things first: The Steelers have to beat the Ravens, who are also still mathematically alive in the playoff chase. That’s a tall task on its own, as Pittsburgh is a 6-point underdog (find real-time NFL odds here).
It gets harder.
In addition to beating the Ravens, the Steelers also need the Colts to lose the Jaguars. Jacksonville has two wins on the season, and Indianapolis is a 15-point favorite.
If Pittsburgh gets that far, it’ll need the Las Vegas Raiders vs. Los Angeles Chargers game on Sunday Night Football to not end in a tie.
Get all that done, and Pittsburgh secures the No. 7 seed.
If the Steelers fall short, they’ll kick themselves for a tie against the Detroit Lions in Week 10 and a flat performance against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 14.
It would also be the third time in the last four years that Pittsburgh misses the playoffs.
Roethlisberger has strongly hinted that this is it for his career. If so, he leaves with two Super Bowl wins in three Super Bowl appearances and 11 total playoff appearances in 18 seasons.