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What are the chances the Pittsburgh Steelers make the playoffs?

We discuss whether or not the Steelers will make the AFC playoffs.

T.J. Watt #90 of the Pittsburgh Steelers rushes the passer during an NFL football game against the New England Patriots at Acrisure Stadium on December 7, 2023 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are 7-6 and sitting in third place in the AFC North behind the division leading 10-3 Ravens and the second place Browns at 8-5, while the Bengals are in fourth, but are also 7-6. They currently have the sixth-seed in the AFC Playoff picture, but they hold it with a tenuous grip.

The Steelers are coming off back-to-back losses to two-win teams, the Cardinals and Patriots. These were games fans and pundits alike looked at as wins on the schedule. And if they had been, the Steelers would be sitting pretty in the playoff picture. Instead, the path looks much uglier.

Pittsburgh Steelers current odds

DraftKings odds: +220
DVOA playoff odds: 27.8%
ESPN FPI: 31.9%
NY Times odds: 25%

Upcoming Schedule

Week 15: at Colts
Week 16: vs. Bengals
Week 17: at Seahawks
Week 18: at Ravens

The Steelers could easily be underdogs in all four of their remaining games, but their one home game, which comes against the Bengals, will probably be closer to a pick ‘em. If they could win out, they’re in the playoffs, but that is very much a pipe dream at this point.

The team that just lost to the Cardinals and Patriots has little chance to get into the playoffs with this schedule. The team that won close games despite having a lousy offense earlier in the season would have a chance, and that is the hope Steelers fans have to hang their hat on.

Pittsburgh will have to win with backup QB Mitch Trubisky at the helm, as starter Kenny Pickett is dealing with a high-ankle sprain that will likely keep him out at least a couple more games. Pickett and Trubisky don’t seem too far apart in ability, but Pickett has been able to get his team over the edge in the fourth quarter in close games. That could come into play if he can get back sooner than anticipated.

Final record prediction: 9-8

I’m going to give Mike Tomlin the benefit of the doubt that he can get his team ready for two winnable games against the Colts and Bengals. That’s more than I had planned on giving them, but if they can get their defense going, the team can win close games.I don’t see them beating the Seahawks or Ravens on the road. Maybe the Ravens won’t have anything to play for in that final game, but if they do, I don’t like the Steelers chances.

Wins over the Colts and Bengals would be big, as they are also 7-6 and just below the Steelers in the playoff race. But, there are many teams just waiting for the door to crack open to the playoffs and the Steelers aren’t in a place to go 2-2 to finish the season and hold onto a wild card spot. It is possible if all the chips fall perfectly, but not likely.

Current AFC playoff standings

  1. Baltimore Ravens 10-3
  2. Miami Dolphins 9-4
  3. Kansas City Chiefs 8-5
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars 8-5
  5. Cleveland Browns 8-5
  6. Pittsburgh Steelers 7-6
  7. Indianapolis Colts 7-6
  8. Houston Texans 7-6
  9. Denver Broncos 7-6
  10. Cincinnati Bengals 7-6
  11. Buffalo Bills 7-6

Verdict

No. Even with the Steelers eking out yet another winning record, they should still miss the playoffs.