The bad news for the Steelers is that they’re near the point of needing to win out to make the postseason.
The good news is that their next two games are against teams with winning records, which seems to get their attention. Their next two are against the 7-6 Cowboys and Bengals, each of whom have won four of five.
“When we’re playing great teams like the Giants, we’re fired up,” Steelers cornerback Keenan Lewis said, via Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “When we play the teams with the lower records, we’ve got to find a way to play with the same intensity.”
That should make the regular season finale against the Browns interesting, but the Steelers have shown a clear trend toward playing to the level of competition.
They’ve beaten the Ravens (9-4), Bengals, Giants (8-5) and Redskins (7-6) but lost to the Browns (5-8), Titans (4-9), Chargers (5-8) and Raiders (3-10).
“We have to correct this thing and make a commitment,” linebacker Larry Foote said. “We are who we are, and we’re 7-6, so we have to turn it around.”
Of course, the best advice came from veteran Brett Keisel.
“We’ve got to play better, especially coming down these final few games, or we’ll be watching (the postseason),” he said. “If we win games, we’ll be able to play in the tournament.”
There are scenarios which include the Steelers getting in at 8-8, but the way they played last week against the Chargers, winning two doesn’t look like anything they can count on.