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Crunching the Numbers: How did the Steelers get to this point?

Hopes of a first-round bye turned to needing help to make the playoffs due to losing the games the Steelers were picked to win.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images


By Week 11, the Steelers had their largest lead in the division of 2.5 games. After defeating the Jaguars to go to 7-2-1, the Ravens defeated the Bengals to match their record of 5-5. And to think Steelers fans were pulling for Baltimore since Cincinnati had a better record at the time. But it was after this moment when everything in the AFC North began to change.


Since Week 11, the Steelers have gone 1-4. The lone win against the Patriots was a game the Steelers were not favored to win. Of the four losses, the Steelers were favored to win in three of them.


Three seems to be a common problem for the Steelers since Week 11. There were the three losses in games in which they were favored to win. In two of the the Steelers losses, they were favored by three points. In three of the four defeats, the Steelers lost by three points. Additionally, the Steelers had three missed field goals in their losses since Week 11 (with four misses total).


Unfortunately, the Ravens are 4-1 since their defeat of the Bengals in Week 11. Unlike the Steelers, the Ravens won every game in which they were favored along with two others in which they weren’t.


It’s the record that could have been. If the Steelers would have won the games in which they were favored since Week 11, they would have gone 4-2 and finished with a record of 11-4-1. Having 11.5 wins would have given the Steelers at least the second seed in the AFC. Add the win over the Patriots where they were not favored and the AFC would have had to go through Heinz Field.


The Ravens, on the other hand, were only projected to finish .500 in their games since Week 11. By winning two games in which they were not favored, the Ravens managed to put themselves in a position to win 10 games on the season and capture the AFC North.


The Ravens did manage to lose four games in which they were favored early in the season. In fact, they lost four games in a five-game spread going into there bye, all of which they were picked to win. The last of said games was against the Steelers in Baltimore in Week 9. In order for the Steelers to make the playoffs, they must hope the Ravens can return to this same trend they’ve been able to avoid for almost half the season.