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What the Steelers last-second win over San Diego means for their probability of making the playoffs

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The Pittsburgh Steelers seemingly defied the odds in their last-second win over the San Diego Chargers on Monday Night Football. What they also did was greatly improve their playoff chances by moving to 3-2.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A record of 3-2 is better than 2-3. Basic arithmetic tells us such a simple fact; however, how big of a difference is a 3-2 record to 2-3 in terms of playoff probabilities? A lot.

When the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the San Diego Chargers with a Le'Veon Bell run with no time remaining on Monday Night Football, they did more than just stay relevant in the AFC North race behind the Cincinnati Bengals (5-0). What most didn't realize is their 3rd win more than doubled their chances of making the postseason in 2015.

Per ESPN, based on a 5-game start since 1990, teams who start the season 3-2 have a 50-percent chance to make the postseason. The other side of the coin is a team who is 2-3. Those teams have just a 21-percent chance of making the playoffs. Just one win, but quite the difference when it comes to playoff percentages.

The Steelers let a win slip away in Week 4 when they lost to the Baltimore Ravens in overtime, but were able to exorcise some demons on Monday night as Michael Vick was able to lead the team to victory for the first time with him under center from start to finish in a black and gold uniform.

The road doesn't get any easier for the Steelers. Next week they host the 4-1 Arizona Cardinals at Heinz Field, followed by a trip to Arrowhead Stadium to play the Kansas City Chiefs before returning home for a divisional clash with the Bengals.

The Steelers now turn their attention to Arizona, and the return of key players like Martavis Bryant, Ryan Shazier and eventually Ben Roethlisberger. Needless to say, Monday night's win was huge in more ways than one.