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Steelers win in Week 17 to keep their playoff hopes alive

T.J. Watt #90 of the Pittsburgh Steelers battles for position against Patrick Ricard #42 of the Baltimore Ravens at Acrisure Stadium on October 8, 2023 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

UPDATE: With wins from the Steelers, Broncos, and Chiefs in the afternoon slate, the Steelers’ playoff odds now sit at 26%, per the New York Times NFL Playoff Simulator. With a win over the Ravels, the Steelers would improve to a 72% chance.

They could lock up a playoff berth with a Steelers win + a Titans win over the Jaguars or Dolphins win over the Bills.

UPDATE: At the conclusion of the entire 1 p.m. slate, the Steelers playoff chances are at 8%, per the New York Times NFL Playoff Simulator. With a win over the Seahawks, those chances would improve to 17%. Meanwhile, if the Steelers win in both Week 17 and Week 18 over the Ravens, those playoff chances improve to 72%.

The Baltimore Ravens have officially clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC and the 2023 AFC North title with a win over the Miami Dolphins in Week 17. It marked their first divisional title win since 2019, when the Ravens went 14-2 in Lamar Jackson’s first season as an NFL starter. It was just many things that fell out of the Pittsburgh Steelers' favor in Week 17’s early game slate.

Jackson was voted the NFL MVP that season while earning All-Pro honors on the back of a performance yielding 3,127 passing yards, 36 passing touchdowns, and 6 interception-season, adding another 1,206 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns on the ground. He’ll now look to repeat those efforts, having all but finalized the deal for a second MVP award in Week 17’s win.

Though the win from Baltimore officially knocks the Steelers out of the AFC North title race, it does effectively render Week 17 meaningless for the Ravens. That will be a plus for the Pittsburgh Steelers, set to travel into Baltimore to take on the Ravens for their final game of the season. Entering Week 17, the Steelers’ playoff chances were slim at best. Now, after wins from the Bills, Colts and Texans, they’ll need some help to keep their postseason dreams alive. Now, they’ll need to either manage a win OR get a little help from the Denver Broncos if the Steelers incur a loss to Seattle.

If they do manage a win over the Seahawks, however, and their season remains up for grabs, the standing of the Ravens having already secured the No. 1 seed could play in their favor, should they elect to rest their starters for the sake of preventing injury.

To avoid elimination in Week 17 after the 1 p.m. ET slate, the Steelers will need the following:

Following the Ravens win, the Steelers’ playoff chances are at 11% based on the New York Times NFL Playoff Simulator. Those chances would rise to 25% with a win of their own against the Seahawks while falling to 5% with a loss.