The only way the NFL could possible prolong the misery of Pittsburgh Steelers fans any longer would be if they were to have moved tonight’s game between the Tennessee Titans and the Indianapolis Colts to Monday night. It certainly feels as though everything has been dragged out as long as it possibly can.
The Steelers just barely beat the Cincinnati Bengals thanks to three field goals by new rookie kicker Matt McCrane for a game-winner. The Cleveland Browns seriously threatened the Baltimore Ravens, losing by two points. They opted to go for it on fourth and 10 rather than attempt something like a 57-yard field goal.
And so now we sit here pretty much knowing that there will be no postseason in Pittsburgh—well, we already know they won’t be hosting a playoff game, so that’s technically true—and yet there is just the slimmest of margins by which the Steelers can reach the postseason.
That would be based on the result of the game unfolding as we speak, the season finale between the Indianapolis Colts and the Tennessee Titans, who division rivals who are fighting for a postseason berth, trying to earn the right to be the sixth seed.
Both of them bring into the contest a 9-6 record, so any winner would automatically have the advantage over the Steelers. However, if they should manage to tie, Pittsburgh would own the tiebreaker with their 9-6-1 record, and would instead earn that sixth seed for themselves.
And so we sit here still clutching at our pearls waiting for the miracle of miracles. Well, at least those of us who actually want to see the Steelers play in the postseason. Many would seem to prefer that they just call it a season.
But the scene that was saw at the end of tonight’s game tells you the truth: this fanbase wants playoff football. The crowd at Heinz Field was offering uproarious cheers for booth reviews ruling that Browns players had indeed made big catches with under two minutes to play as they trailed by two points.
Half the team remained on the field, watching the Browns and Ravens on the stadium’s giant video board. The rest of the team watched the game from inside the locker room. Would there be another game to play? Would this be it?
Unfortunately, we now know what the likely answer is: no more Steelers football until August. But it’s not quite over yet. Just suffer with us a little while longer. There have been two ties this season, the Steelers having been involved in one themselves. They just need another in the 256th game of the year.