The Pittsburgh Steelers’ playoff chances took a hit after their loss to the Minnesota Vikings. They can improve if these three things happen in Week 14.
The Pittsburgh Steelers almost overcame a 29-0 deficit against a team that loves to a game decided on the final play — the Minnesota Vikings. But the final drive ended on rookie tight end Pat Freiermuth having the ball smacked out of his hands by Vikings safety Harrison Smith in the end zone to lose 36-28.
With this loss, Pittsburgh’s chances got much slimmer, given their strength of schedule. What could have happened had they not lost time after the much talked about Chase Claypool first down celebration? But, the Steelers can see their chances of clinching a playoff spot improve if these three things happen in Week 14.
Steelers playoff scenarios: What Pittsburgh needs in Week 14
Buccaneers defeat Bills
The defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers could do the Steelers a solid this weekend. They face off against the Buffalo Bills, who currently hold the seventh-seed in the AFC.
Buffalo is coming off a 14-10 loss to the New England Patriots, who ran the ball 46 times on 49 total plays on a windy Monday night. Now, they have to contend with the Buccaneers’ electric offense on Sunday afternoon. It will not be the easiest of feats for Buffalo, which Pittsburgh should be happy about.
49ers defeat Bengals
If the Steelers want to sneak into the playoff picture, they will need the Cincinnati Bengals to have a late season collapse. The Bengals may be coming off a 41-22 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, but the week prior, they blew out the Steelers 41-10.
The Bengals face off against the San Francisco 49ers, who are have won three out of their last four games. One of those victories was pretty big, as they defeated the rival Los Angeles Rams 31-10 back in Week 10. The Steelers will be huge 49ers fans on Sunday.
Browns over Ravens
Having to root for the Cleveland Browns will just feel weird for Steelers fans. But, they need someone to help send the Baltimore Ravens further down the AFC standings.
The Ravens have shown that they are a beatable team this year, especially since the Steelers did beat them the week prior by the score of 20-19. The Browns did have multiple opportunities to beat the Ravens back in Week 12, especially with quarterback Lamar Jackson throwing four interceptions. Yet, Cleveland lost 16-10.
Pittsburgh’s playoff chances improve with a Baltimore loss.