For the Pittsburgh Steelers, it all comes down to today’s contests. There’s only one path for the Black and Gold to advance into the postseason. It’s a longshot, but it can happen.
(1) The Steelers have to defeat the Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore. Now Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson is ruled out for the game with a busted ankle, so there’s a chance for us.
(2) The Jacksonville Jaguars need to grow a pair and defeat the Indianapolis Colts at home. Strange request, considering the Jags have only won two games all year, but the Colts haven’t won IN Jacksonville in seven years, so there’s a tiny bit of precedent.
(3) If those two things happen, then the Chargers-Raiders game tonight has to end with either the Chargers or the Raiders winning. It can’t end in a tie. Because if it ends in a tie, then the Chargers and the Raiders advance to the playoffs, and the Steelers’ season is done.
Now there’s a lot of moving pieces here. A lot of moving pieces. But I’ve seen stranger things happen in the NFL. I mean, the Chargers and Raiders could get to a tie score, take victory kneeldowns back and forth to ensure both teams make it in, it would be a chickenshit move, but there’s nothing anyone can do about it. And the Colts could rest their starters, and really Jacksonville is playing for pride. Which adds up to something, I don’t know what.
So I’ll be busy today, focusing on my NFL RedZone watching two games back and forth, and hoping there’s a chance for something special.
Even if it means pulling the equivalent of an inside straight when the dealer didn’t remove all the Jokers from the deck.