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How the Steelers can still make the playoffs in 2023

Here’s what needs to fall Pittsburgh’s way in Week 18 to keep their playoff hopes alive.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Seattle Seahawks Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: The Pittsburgh Steelers won 17-10 over the Baltimore Ravens, improving their playoff chances to 66% per NFL Next Gen Stats. With a Jaguars loss, Bills loss OR Texans-Colts tie, the Steelers will clinch a playoff berth.

The Pittsburgh Steelers kept their playoff hopes alive thanks to the running back duo of Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren in a 30-23 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. Entering Week 18 at 9-7, the Steelers have several scenarios to make it into the postseason to clinch the final AFC Wild Card spot.

How the Steelers can make the playoffs in 2023

  • Steelers win in Week 18 AND a Jaguars loss OR
  • Steelers win in Week 18 AND a Bills loss OR
  • Steelers win in Week 18 AND Texans vs. Colts ends in a TIE OR
  • Steelers tie AND Texans vs. Colts does not end in a tie (AKA a Texans or Colts loss) AND a Jaguars loss
  • Steelers loss in Week 18 AND a Jaguars loss AND a Broncos win AND if Texans vs. Colts does not end in a tie (AKA a Texans or Colts loss)

In their Week 17 win, Harris and Warren became the fourth Steelers running back duo with over 1,000 scrimmage yards each season. These two were the offensive engines in Week 17 for the Steelers, having combined for 20 rushes, 145 yards and two touchdowns for an average of 7.1 yards per carry in the first half alone.

The Steelers dominated the line of scrimmage from the game’s first carry and continued on throughout, constantly attacking the Seahawks’ rushing defense. That rhythm in the run game set up plays in the play-action game to Diontae Johnson and George Pickens throughout the game.

While the offense has been far from good this season, Mason Rudolph guided this offense again to another 30-point outing. He was solid again, this time in a hostile environment. He was still aggressive, pushing the ball down the field, and managed to do so while not putting the ball in harm’s way.

They’ll take on the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday, January 7, with the official time still to be determined by the league office.