Skip to content

Steelers’ slim playoff hopes hinge on four- or five-way tie

Ben Roethlisberger, Fernando Velasco, Ramon Foster AP

Fourteen NFL teams currently have losing records. The Steelers are the only one of those teams that has not been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.

But while the Steelers still have a chance to make the playoffs, those chances rest on the obscure possibility that they end up in a four- or five-way tie with the Ravens, Chargers, Dolphins and Jets, all at 8-8.

If the Steelers win out to finish 8-8 while the Ravens lose out to finish 8-8, the Steelers would be considered the second place team in the AFC North, based on their superior record within the division. The Steelers would also need the Dolphins to lose out and the Jets to win out, which would make both of those teams 8-8, and would make the Jets the second-place team in the AFC East based on a superior division record.

Because the first step of a tiebreaker with more than one teams is to use the divisional tiebreakers to eliminate all but one team from each division, a four-way tiebreaker among the Ravens, Steelers, Dolphins and Jets would turn into a two-way tiebreaker between the Steelers and Jets, which the Steelers would win based on a superior conference record.

The Steelers would also need the Chargers to lose at least one of their two remaining games. If the Chargers lose one game to finish at 8-8, the Steelers would win a tiebreaker with them based on a superior conference record.

Ultimately, the Steelers need to go 2-0 while the Jets go 2-0, the Ravens go 0-2, the Dolphins go 0-2 and the Chargers go either 1-1 or 0-2, and they’re in the playoffs. So I’m telling you there’s a chance.

Permalink 41 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Home, New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, Rumor Mill
41 Responses to “Steelers’ slim playoff hopes hinge on four- or five-way tie”
  1. dietrich43 says: Dec 19, 2013 4:13 PM

    I think there’s better odds that Rex Ryan fits into 32-waist pants by the end of the year.

  2. harrisonhits2 says: Dec 19, 2013 4:15 PM

    Looks like the Steelers “great march” to their couches to watch the playoffs and SB from is almost over.

  3. barneyrumble says: Dec 19, 2013 4:21 PM

    Good luck with all of that Steelers fans!

  4. thestrategyexpert says: Dec 19, 2013 4:23 PM

    Well all of these unlikely teams are screwed now that Miami and Baltimore won last week. The good math odds were predicated on hoping the Lions and Pats would both win.

  5. ProFootballTalkSucks says: Dec 19, 2013 4:24 PM

    The Ravens will never go 0-2. The league wouldn’t allow that.

  6. theroc5156 says: Dec 19, 2013 4:26 PM

    Don’t worry. The refs will help out as much as they can.

  7. larryravor says: Dec 19, 2013 4:27 PM

    Oh, poor Steelers. Nice try to get them in the playoffs, but this will be the second straight year they are out!!!

  8. crownofthehelmet says: Dec 19, 2013 4:28 PM

    So you saying there’s a chance.

  9. crownofthehelmet says: Dec 19, 2013 4:29 PM

    “Oh crap!”

    – All 31 Other Teams

  10. PeterKingLovesCoqAVin says: Dec 19, 2013 4:34 PM

    It’s even more ridiculous than it sounds already when you consider that in order for all those things to happen, the Patriots would necessarily need to finish 0-2.

  11. Nofoolnodrool says: Dec 19, 2013 4:36 PM

    As a Steeler fan please don’t let this happen. Can you image the whining out of Baltimore. Every person east of the Mississippi would need ear plugs on for a year…..please don’t let it happen the outrage….. Cheers.

  12. kremis says: Dec 19, 2013 4:41 PM

    6-8 hahahaha,
    But they are in the record books for having the first head coach to play special teams and make a touchdown saving move without a penalty being called , then to be named AFC special teams player of the week by the NFL
    Stealer fans must be so proud!

  13. weepingjebus says: Dec 19, 2013 4:42 PM

    The Steelers are like a thought exercise in what happens if you don’t draft any NFL caliber players for 5 years running.

  14. ravanator says: Dec 19, 2013 4:42 PM

    This is great news. All the little Steelers fans are getting their hopes up reading this, and their hope will be crushed when the Ravens win. Ravens will win the final two games, make the playoffs, and win back to back Superbowls.

    #cheers!
    #ravensrepeat
    #steelers=steroids

  15. thegenoatkinsdiet says: Dec 19, 2013 4:43 PM

    Enjoy the head start on planning for the draft

  16. classyjacklambert says: Dec 19, 2013 4:52 PM

    Everyone should be very afraid if they do make it. However, it’s as unlikely as the ravens winning another Super Bowl during our lifetime.

  17. citizenstrange says: Dec 19, 2013 4:52 PM

    Bottom Third Ben is under contract through 2015. Twelfth Man Tomlin is under contract through 2016.

    No playoffs for the Steelers until at least 2017. By then it will be six years in a row without a playoff win and hopefully the Rooneys won’t be “blown away” by Tomlin’s sweet, sweet, gobbledygook double talk anymore.

  18. gbmickey says: Dec 19, 2013 5:00 PM

    The Steelers and playoff talk…hahaahahahahahaha!

  19. raynman49 says: Dec 19, 2013 5:04 PM

    Whew! Another confusing head spinner. Where’s my beer?

  20. SmashMouthFootball says: Dec 19, 2013 5:11 PM

    Golly, what would all those fair weather Steeler fans do who already packed away their terrible towel?

  21. ravenswhat says: Dec 19, 2013 5:33 PM

    Playoffs??

  22. biggmc says: Dec 19, 2013 5:33 PM

    So your telling me theres a chance……. I hear ya!!!!

  23. 63mont says: Dec 19, 2013 5:57 PM

    Not getting my hopes up but you can’t win every year.

    But…

    Ya know, I was just thinking; I don’t like the Bengals but their fans aren’t trolls.

    I don’t like the Browns but their fans aren’t trolls.

    I don’t like the Cowboys or Pats or Bears but their fans aren’t trolls.

    Ravens fans, however, are nothing but trolls.
    Full of hatred and jealousy and ignorance.

    They’ll gleefully scream that our QB was accused of assault while willfully ignoring that Ray “THE Greatest Raven of All Time” Lewis was not only arrested and charged with murder but also plea bargined out of the charges.

    Face it, Pitt has alway been better and, even in loss, will always be better.
    I’d take 16-0 for the rest of my life and still be a Steelers fan rather than be a Ravens fan for one miserable second.

    Scummy little trolls with scummy little minds.

    Pityful.

  24. jmblosser82 says: Dec 19, 2013 6:02 PM

    Even in down years steelers are in the playoff hunt.

    CStrange, I wouldn’t count on 6 straight years if missing the playoffs, not being in the SB talks I can see.

    Garvin didn’t run out of his way to block. He just laid an excessive block on a guy who never even glanced at where he was going.

    If, and it’s a big if, the ravens make the playoffs fans should expect a 1 and done. Dolphins should easily win the last 2. Ravens barely made it by the Lions, a team the Steelers crushed, and have 2 tough games against the Patriots, who haven’t lost back to back game in a long time and the Bengals who will likely need to win to keep the 3rd seed.

  25. jmblosser82 says: Dec 19, 2013 6:02 PM

    Even in down years steelers are in the playoff hunt.

    CStrange, I wouldn’t count on 6 straight years if missing the playoffs, not being in the SB talks I can see.

    Garvin didn’t run out of his way to block. He just laid an excessive block on a guy who never even glanced at where he was going.

    If, and it’s a big if, the ravens make the playoffs fans should expect a 1 and done. Dolphins should easily win the last 2. Ravens barely made it by the Lions, a team the Steelers crushed, and have 2 tough games against the Patriots, who haven’t lost back to back game in a long time and the Bengals who will likely need to win to keep the 3rd seed.

  26. 6ball says: Dec 19, 2013 6:29 PM

    .

    The best thing that could happen to the Steelers is to lose their last two games. Even if they they made the playoffs, back to back road wins at Denver and New England are very unlikely.

    The Steelers desperately need playmakers on both sides of the ball. Currently they own the 12th pick. A pair of losses could move them up to 5 or 6.

    In that scenario the Steelers could take a high skill player they like or…….. dare I say….. trade back.

    .

  27. Joemontanaflacco says: Dec 19, 2013 6:47 PM

    “Even in down years steelers are in the playoff hunt.”

    Agreed. Only this time, they are the “prey” as teams like the Packers aim to chew them up for a chance to get into the post-season.

  28. thegenoatkinsdiet says: Dec 19, 2013 7:29 PM

    @nofoolnodrool
    1 > 0
    9-5 > 6-8

  29. steelcurtainn says: Dec 19, 2013 7:57 PM

    There is a chance and that’s all you can ask for at this point in the season. If not, I will enjoy watching the other teams fall like dominos. The ravens will be the first to fall because all they do is kick field goals. That won’t be enough in the playoffs.

  30. jmblosser82 says: Dec 19, 2013 8:01 PM

    JMF, the packers are not the team they were last year. Even with A-Rod it will be a close game that either team can win. I have a better chance of winning the mega millions then the steelers making the playoffs, and I’m alright with that. Ravens will go 1-1 the last 2 weeks and the Bengals will go 2-0. If the dolphins don’t go 2-0 I will be surprised.if by chance Tucker and the Raven D bails out Flacco, they will be 1 and done.

  31. larryravor says: Dec 19, 2013 8:10 PM

    Your green eyes do not become you!!

    The Ravens may only score thru the field goal, but at least they are winning.

    It will even be worse for the Stealers next year when they must rebuild. The Ravens did that this year and are still winning. That is the sign of a good organization & good coaching. This will be Harbaugh/Flacco’s sixth straight year in the play offs and the second straight in the Super Bowl.

    Sit back and enjoy!!

    Why are there so many empty seats at Ketchup Field?

  32. vincentbojackson says: Dec 19, 2013 8:16 PM

    The fact the Steelers still have a chance tells you how terrible the AFC is this year. It’s the Broncos and Chiefs and then a bunch of pretenders and wannabes.

  33. jmblosser82 says: Dec 19, 2013 8:51 PM

    Everyone knows come playoff time Manning is nowhere to be found.

  34. benrob99 says: Dec 19, 2013 8:56 PM

    Steelers don’t deserve to make the playoffs. Playoff teams don’t lose to Tennessee at home. Or an awful Oakland team anywhere. Not to mention miss tackle after tackle and lose to Miami… in the snow. That’s OK though. We’ll be back. Cream always rises. Keep trolling… we’ll win another Super Bowl before anyone else in the AFC North. And you can book that.

  35. wishingtonredslur says: Dec 19, 2013 9:25 PM

    Dear Lord, thou art wise, wiser than wise, please leave the steelers at home or someplace else where there aren’t playoffs.

  36. imatroll300 says: Dec 20, 2013 2:06 AM

    the Steelers fans still hoping n praying they get to the post season lol lol lol the worst organization in pro football the coach tried to cheat and still lose.

    the 3 WORST football organizations all in order

    1. the Steelers

    2. the patriots

    3. the falcons

  37. johnnybgood19 says: Dec 20, 2013 9:24 AM

    This is Doable!

    the ratbirds have very tough games against NE at home and the bengals in CIncy… The Jets face the browns and fins and could win both… the fins need to lose to Buffalo and sandiego has oakland and the chiefs and could easily lose both…

    As long as there is a heartbeat you need to continue the CPR….

  38. candrwells says: Dec 20, 2013 12:25 PM

    TBQH, I’d love to see the Steelers make it into the playoffs just to shut the Ravens fans collective mouths.

    I seriously don’t expect it to happen, and would almost be relieved if they lost the last 2. At least then, some changes (hopefully good ones) would be in the works.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d never root for them to lose, it’s just not possible to do that.

    Any given Sunday….

  39. 6ringnation says: Dec 20, 2013 12:30 PM

    No one wants to see us in, you fools forget that the playoffs are a new season, everything starts over!!! You all were making fun of us in 05, as the 6th seed and 08!! But What happen!!! I respectfully disagree with the article, we just can’t be tied with another team because of head to head matchups. Like I said before, if fins lose two, they are 8-8 and 2-4 div, if the ratbirds lose two, they are 8-8 and 3-3 div, if da chargers lose one and win one, they are 8-8 and 3-3 div, and if the Steelers win two they are 8-8, and 4-2 in div We would get in because of divisional record, that is primary tie breaker for multiple teams for wild card, if we wind up tied 8-8 against jets and everyone else is eliminated we have head to head against the jets, if we wind up tied against the fins we lose because of head to head, if we wind up tied against the ratbirds we would lose because of divisional record or common teams because we split. No one wants to see us in the playoffs we are running the ball again with Bell and Brown is blowing by people in the passing game and defense is a bit shaky but if we play the right “young guns” up front anything can happen!! Just keep hating us while you look at our six rings on our fingers!!! Oh did I mention, in the words of Michael Buffer, “and out of the black and gold corner and still the undisputed only 6RingNation in the woooooorrrllllllllddddddd, the Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers!!! Mary Christmas!!

  40. hawgdriver says: Dec 22, 2013 1:07 PM

    All you Ravens fans seemed to have overlooked this part of the article:
    “If the Steelers win out to finish 8-8 while the Ravens lose out to finish 8-8, the Steelers would be considered the second place team in the AFC North, based on their superior record within the division.” Key word is Superior. HERE WE GO STEELERS HERE WE GO!

  41. pciorlandosalestwopciorlandosales says: Dec 24, 2013 3:43 PM

    Lets see .. a weak Raven team with a one footed QB Facing the Div leader for the final game at Cinci :)

    I certainly can see Cinci beating down the Ravens :)

    Next:

    Sandiego and KC Last time these two met the Chargers won by a field goal in the closing moments. KC will looking for some revenge during this game :)

    I can see KC beating the Chargers in this game :)

    Then:

    The Jets at Miami …

    This is the tricky one :) This could be the game that knocks the Steelers out of the playoffs. It’d be cool if this game ended up in a tie though :)

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!