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Steelers Playoff Scenario: Playoff Chances Still Alive... Barely

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I'll recap today's impressive victory over the Carolina Panthers tomorrow morning. Needless to say, we turned in one of our more complete games of the season: we got major contributions from the offense, the defense, and from the special teams.

Here's where we stand after today's action:

* The day got off to a promising start with the Steelers victory and the Titans improbable 24-17 triumph over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags controlled this game, but 4 David Garrard turnovers led to 21 Titan points. Incredible stuff from a Tennessee team who also is hanging on to slim playoff hopes.

In other good news...New England thumped the hapless Texans. Why does this matter? Well, New England travles to Altell Stadium to take on Jacksonville next week in a game the Jags desperately need.

What do we need? Jacksonville to lose to New England at home, and to Kansas City at Arrowhead in Week 17.

* Damn Cardinals. Arizona played a pathetic game on the defensive end, allowing Jay Cutler to be comfortable in the pocket all afternoon. I'm not high on Cutler, but he did have a nice day today, taking what the lame-ass Cardinals defense gave him all day.

What do we need from the Broncos? Well, we really needed them to lose today. Since they won, we still have to have them beat Cinicinnati next weekend. In other words, Denver must be in the playoffs, if the Steelers are to sneak in as the 2nd Wild Card.

* Minnesota is a close runner-up for biggest disappointment on the day. The Vikings themselves had something to play for today, but laid a big fat egg on the defensive end against Chad Pennington & Co. The Vikings couldn't stop the Jets on 3rd down, and the Jets left the Metrodome with a resounding 26-13 victory.

What do we need from the Jets? We need New York to lose one of their final two games, preferrably both obviously . We would have identical conference records if they split their final two games, so it would come down to strength of victory to determine the tiebreaker (the Jets and Steelers don't have enough 'common games' to determine the tie-breaker that way). Obviously it would be ideal if they were to beat Miami and lose to Oakland, but let's not get greedy. Let's hope they lose this weekend. The Steelers would add two more impressive victories to their resume if they were to win out (Baltimore and Cincinnati), so maybe we would squeak by them...I'm just not sure yet.

*Cincinnati must lose tomorrow night...plain and simple. If they win, we're done. Find it in you to cheer as hard as you can for the Colts tomorrow night. If the Bengals did in fact lose tomorrow night, we would need them to lose at Denver next week, and then lose to the Steelers in Week 17. Not out of the realm of possibilit, but first thing's first. Go Indy.

* Kansas City is really not a factor for us except for the fact that we need them to beat Jacksonville in Week 17. So, we need them to rebound from tonight's tough loss and take down the Raiders on the road next week. That would give them somthing to play for hypothetically in Week 17 against the Jags. Hey, it's the NFL. They might show up and play their best game of the season in Week 17 even if they were eliminated, but it might help if there was something added on the line for a Chiefs team that has been up and down all year.

Summary

1) Denver has to make the playoffs if we are to make it as well.

2) Jacksonville must lose their final two games to NE and KC.

3) Cincinnati must lose their final 3 games to Indy, Denver, and Pittsburgh.

4) New York Jets must lose one of their final two games...that would leave us and them with idential overall and conference records. It would come down to strength of victory. I think Pittsburgh would edge the Jets if they beat Baltimore and Cincinnat, but I'm not positive.

Stay tuned, we're still alive and kicking.

Go Colts! (for a week at least)

Go Steelers!

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