Ok, after this post, it's time to get ready for the Ravens this weekend. We've done a lot of speculating about the Steelers' playoff chances, and I thank all of you who have posted comments and written diaries breaking things down.
Now that Week 15 is oficially over, here's exactly where we stand. Assuming Pittsburgh wins both of their final games, here are the various scenarios that would get us in the playoffs.
A) Steelers make the playoffs as the #6 seed if:
1)Jacksonville loses final two games against New England and at Kansas City.
2)Buffalo loses one more game.
3)Tennessee is not a factor because of common opponent tiebreaker.
3)NY Jets lose one more game, hopefully to Miami since that is the weaker of their two opponents. We would then beat them out most likely on 'strength of victory' tiebreaker.
4)Kansas City is not a factor because we own head-to-head tiebreaker.
5)Bengals lose final two games to Denver and Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh=#6 seed; Denver=#5 seed
B)Steelers make the playoffs as the #6 seed if all of the above happen except:
1)Cincinatti beats Denver, Denver must lose in Week 17 to San Francisco.
Steelers=#6 seed; Cincinnati=#5 seed.
C)Steelers make the playoffs as the #6 seed if:
1)If Jacksonville wins this weekend against New England, they must lose the final week to Kansas City.
2)Kansas City must win final game against Jacksonville.
3)Tennesee must win final two games. This would give them the divisional edge over Jacksonville in the 3-way tie; we would then beat Tennessee in common opponent tie-breaker.
D)Steelers make the playoffs as the #6 seed if:
1)If Denver beats Cincinnati, they must lost to SF
2)Kansas City must also then win final two games against Oakland and Jacksonville...this would make three-way tie with KC, Denver, and Pittsburgh. KC owns better divisional record than Denver, which would eliminate Broncos. We hold head-to-head over KC.
Folks, let's be clear that this is still a stretch. But let's also understand that we still have multiple scenarios in which we may sneak in the back door of the playoffs. Thanks again to everybody who has helped us sort through this; I'm sure we're still missing something, but this is essentially where we stand after this weekend's crazy action.