If the Pittsburgh Steelers learned anything on their weekend off it’s that no one is going to hand them a playoff spot. I would argue they should have learned this lesson last year when they were left to rely on a kicker from Kansas City to get them into the postseason.
We know how that worked out…
Yesterday the Steelers watched as division foes Cleveland and Cincinnati both posted victories on the road. The Browns survived three interceptions by Brian Hoyer and welcomed the time management guffaws of Atlanta Coach Mike Smith to win in the Georgia Dome.
The Bengals’ win was more impressive in that they defeated a Texans’ team that was still clinging to playoff hopes but couldn’t ride a shaky Ryan Mallett to victory. The Bengals played well, but I didn’t see anything that makes me think the Steelers can’t at the very least split with them over the final four weeks of the season.
Tonight in New Orleans the Baltimore Ravens will look to stay even with everyone else in the AFC North by beating the Saints. The good news for them is that New Orleans has dropped two in a row at home where they typically never lose. The bad news is that the Saints are just as desperate for a win.
They lead the worst division in football with a 4-6 record and can actually gain a little separation with a win over the Ravens. A Baltimore loss would be a severe blow to their chances of winning the division because Cincinnati has the tie-breaker with them having won both meetings this year.
Next Sunday starts a five-game race to the finish line for the Steelers. Three of these five games are at home and the excuses for not making the playoffs will be thin and accepted by very few in the Steeler Nation.
The bottom line? The Steelers need to take care of business themselves because they’ve learned recently that relying on others gets you nowhere.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteelDad and the website @SCBlitz. Check us out on Facebook at facebook.com/steelcityblitz and on Fancred.com. You can hear him weekly during the season on game day on the Trib-Live Radio Steelers Pre-Game
photo courtesy theonion.com