The Pittsburgh Steelers playoff hopes took another shot Monday night thanks to the Denver Broncos beating the Cincinnati Bengals 20-17 in overtime.
With 9:48 left in overtime, Bengals quarterback A.J. McCarron couldn’t handle a shotgun snap on 2nd and 10 and Broncos linebacker DeMarcus Ware recovered the loose football to give his team the win.
The Broncos took a 3-point lead in overtime after taking the kickoff and driving 61 yards in 14 plays to set up a 37-yard field goal by kicker Brandon McManus, who had just missed a 45-yard attempt wide to the left as time expired in regulation. The Broncos overcame a 14-0 deficit for the win and in doing so they clinched a playoff spot with one week remaining the season.
Now that the Broncos have clinched, the Steelers will need to beat the Cleveland Browns next Sunday and hope the New York Jets lose to the Buffalo Bills in order for them to secure a playoff spot. Should the Steelers wind up missing the postseason, it will be first time since Chuck Noll became head coach in 1969 that the franchise has gone 5 years without a playoff win.
The Steelers entered Week 16 in control of their own playoff destiny but a Sunday road loss to the Baltimore Ravens combined with a Jets win over the New England Patriots left Pittsburgh on the outside looking in with one week remaining in the season.