Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
The Pittsburgh Steelers essentially destroyed their postseason chances with their 22-20 loss against the Baltimore Ravens on Thanksgiving. Now shouldered with a 5-7 record, the Steelers are now on the outside looking in when it comes to the AFC postseason picture.
So how far did Pittsburgh actually fall this week in “NFL Power Rankings” around the country? Take a look below to find out, readers:
"Mike Tomlin could end up getting to watch a game’s worth of kickoff returns from the Jumbotron in his house.-Mike Florio (Pro Football Talk, Ranked #21)"
Well played, Mr. Florio. Well played indeed. I wouldn’t mind seeing Tomlin suspended for what he did on Thursday night against the Ravens. “All sizzle and no steak” Tomlin deserves to be punished for his actions, and I for one hope that Pittsburgh’s front office realizes how ridiculous that their head coach is before it is too late.
"By dropping to 5-7 rather than improving to 6-6, the Steelers’ chances of making the playoffs dropped from 21.2 percent to 2.1 percent.-Brian Billick (FOX Sports.com, Ranked #16)"
I am so glad Billick pointed this statistic out regarding Pittsburgh’s chances of making the postseason. Thursday night’s game would have provided the team with the inside track to a postseason berth. Unfortunately, the team came out flat, unprepared, and deserved to have their postseason hopes dashed by their division rivals. Like it or not, the Steelers’ 2013 regular season essentially ended in Baltimore.
"That loss to the Ravens might be the kill shot on their season. They do have a little hope left.-Pete Prisco (CBS Sports.com, Ranked #21)"
While the Steelers are still technically in the running for a postseason spot, things are not looking bright for the once proud franchise. Not only must Pittsburgh win all four of their remaining regular season games (vs. Miami, at Green Bay, vs. Cincinnati, vs. Cleveland), they will need other teams like Baltimore and Miami to completely tank down the stretch. Although anything is possible, both of those things occurring for the Steelers will be highly improbable.
"Antonio Brown had five catches for 59 yards against Baltimore, continuing his streak as the only player with at least five receptions and 50 yards in every game this season.–ESPN.com (Power Rankings, Ranked #18)"
Although this season has been a disaster of sorts for the Steelers, Antonio Brown has performed quite well. In fact, Brown is on pace to shatter the franchise single-season records for receptions and receiving yards. Pittsburgh’s pass-catcher ranks first in the league in receptions (85), and tied for fifth in the league in receiving yards (1,103).
"The loss in Baltimore probably spiked the Steelers wild-card hopes, considering that they still have to play the Dolphins, Bengals, and Packers — who will likely be WITH Aaron Rodgers. That said, Ben Roethlisberger led a couple of tremendous drives to put Pittsburgh in position to tie things up on Thursday. It sure would be nice for him if he didn’t have to hit Emmanuel Sanders exactly in the numbers for Sanders to make a play. The receiver has been thrown to 94 times — and has just 54 catches to show for it. Hmm.-Elliot Harrison (NFL.com, Ranked #20)"
As much as William Gay has been trashed and vilified by many in “Steeler Nation,” he has done a solid job this year outside of the New England game. His collective play against the Browns was nothing short of terrific, and he has definitely entrenched himself as the team’s number two cornerback over Cortez Allen.
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