AFC Playoff Picture: What did Thursday's loss do to the Steelers postseason chances?

Rob Carr

The Steelers didn't help their cause in competing for the AFC's final wild card spot, but it isn't over, either.

The Steelers' playoff chances were dealt a blow in their 22-20 loss to Baltimore, as the Ravens move into the AFC's sixth seed for the weekend.

With four games to play, the Steelers will most likely need to win out, which isn't news, and Baltimore controls their fate. If they go undefeated in their final four games, they will clinch the AFC's final wild card.

The Steelers have two consecutive home games, taking on Miami and Cincinnati, respectively. Then a trip to Green Bay in Week 16, followed by the season finale at Heinz Field against Cleveland.

It's not impossible, however difficult to imagine it being, particularly considering four Steelers offensive linemen suffered injuries in this game. Fernando Velasco (ankle), Kelvin Beachum (knee), David DeCastro (foot) and Mike Adams (ankle) all received treatment of some kind after the loss, and their status will be determined at a later time. Same for running back Le'Veon Bell, who suffered a head injury late in the game.

Baltimore splits two of its final four games at home. They'll host Minnesota in Week 14 followed by a road game against Detroit on Monday night in Week 15. They host the Patriots before playing at Cincinnati in the finale.

It would appear the Ravens have a more difficult schedule of what's left, but that means little as things sit right now. For the Steelers, the same "one day at a time" philosophy can still work, but their Week 14 game against the Dolphins becomes the next in a long line of critical games for their season.

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