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ESPN predicts a Steelers win on Monday night, but falling short of the postseason

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ playoff hopes are still alive, but ESPN doesn’t predict the black and gold getting into the postseason.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Week 17 of the NFL season is upon us, and for teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers they are hoping to keep their playoff dreams alive. Far from clinching a playoff berth, the Steelers need to both win, and get some help. With the Steelers not playing until Monday night when they host the Cleveland Browns, a potential road to the playoffs will become very clear. Either way, the Steelers need to win their last two games, and ESPN recently released predictions for the final two weeks of the regular season.

Here is how they have the final two weeks playing out:

Week 17

(Note: NFC games/results were excluded)

Rams 27, Ravens 7
Bills 38, Falcons 14
Chiefs 10, Bengals 6
Colts 26, Raiders 10
Patriots 31, Jaguars 13
Titans 27, Dolphins 10
Chargers 16, Broncos 8
Steelers 30, Browns 27

With the Steelers winning and the Bengals losing, it leaves their hopes for the division in tact, but also their playoff hopes. A trip to M&T Bank Stadium awaits in Week 18, and here is how ESPN has the final week of the regular season panning out:

Week 18

(Note: NFC games/results were excluded)

Ravens 33, Steelers 20
Bills 37, Jets 21
Bengals 27, Browns 21
Titans 31, Texans 28
Colts 33, Jaguars 13
Dolphins 10, Patriots 3
Chiefs 34, Broncos 7
Raiders 20, Chargers 19

The Steelers’ loss on the road to their division rival would be the final nail in the coffin for the Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger’s storied career. The 8-8-1 finish would have them at .500, in a season when that was thought to be impossible.

Here would be the AFC Playoff Standings, according to ESPN, if the above came to fruition:

Projecting how the AFC plays out

1. Kansas City Chiefs (13-4)
2. Tennessee Titans (12-5)
3. Buffalo Bills (11-6)
4. Cincinnati Bengals (10-7)
5. Indianapolis Colts (11-6)
6. New England Patriots (10-7)
7. Los Angeles Chargers (9-8)
---
8. Las Vegas Raiders (9-8)
9. Miami Dolphins (9-8)
10. Baltimore Ravens (9-8)
11. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8-1)
12. Cleveland Browns (7-10)
13. Denver Broncos (7-10)
14. New York Jets (4-13)
15. Houston Texans (4-13)
16. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-15)

So, what do you think of these predictions? Do you see them playing out? Do you think the Steelers will find a way to win out and get into the playoffs? Let us know in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Cleveland Browns in prime time in Week 17.