There is no where left to hide, the Pittsburgh Steelers are officially the AFC team that nobody wants a piece of.
This week the Steelers dispatched the Denver Broncos by shutting them down in the second half and putting on another dazzling offensive display against one of the NFL’s top defenses. Pittsburgh is fighting for a wild card spot and Sunday’s win gave an enormous boost to their playoff odds.
According to SportsClubStats.com, the Steelers now have an 88.8 percent chance of making the playoffs. That’s nearly a 15 percent bump in one week.
As you might expect, the experts are really high on the Steelers this week. Let’s take a look around the internet(s) and see where they are being placed in the weekly NFL power rankings.
“Somebody woke up the Steelers in the second half Sunday. The offense got going, putting up three touchdowns while continually beating the Broncos’ single coverage.”
The Steelers have scored at least 30 points in five straight games for the first time in franchise history.”
Yahoo Sports: #5
“I want to see Steelers at Patriots in January. That would be a treat.”
USA Today: #5
“They probably won’t see Heinz Field again this season but should cruise into playoffs with Ravens, Browns left on road.”
“The defense, which has been bad throughout much of the season, finally rose up and shut the Broncos out throughout the second half of the contest.”
SB Nation: #4
“Pittsburgh showed a lot of guts in coming back from down 17 points and proved that it’s still a threat in the AFC playoffs.”
Washington Post: #6
“The Steelers get to finish the regular season facing the Ravens and Browns but cannot afford a misstep with the stakes so high.”
That’s a whole lot of positive buzz going around for a team that looked like a long shot to play in January just a few short weeks ago.
Yes, the Steelers are hot but they are also getting lucky in the bigger picture. Andy Dalton and Brock Osweiler being injured two weeks in a row certainly didn’t hurt in these two wins. Also, the Patriots are being decimated by injuries. Luck is a pre-requisite for getting to the Super Bowl, and right now everything is rolling in Pittsburgh’s direction.
As for the rankings, SB Nation’s number four is a little bit much, and Fansided’s number eight is too low. Fifth overall fits just right for the Steelers heading into Week 16.