Why Steelers did enough to make us believe they can make the playoffs

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth (88) reacts with wide receiver Diontae Johnson (18). Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth (88) reacts with wide receiver Diontae Johnson (18). Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

The Pittsburgh Steelers rallied from behind to defeat the Ravens in Week 13. Here’s why fans now have hope that they will make the playoffs. 

In the NFL, the ultimate goal is to win the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, fan bases of many teams like the Jets, Lions, and Jaguars would probably be thrilled just to have a competitive season. As a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, I think it’s fair to aim higher.

As one of the NFL’s most winning franchises of all time, we have come to expect more. So when the Steelers have failed to meet expectations over the past few years, we would like to think that Pittsburgh can raise the bar higher.

In Week 13, Mike Tomlin’s team hosted the Baltimore Ravens. A loss would have been catastrophic to Pittsburgh’s playoff hopes this year — sending them to 5-6-1 and putting them multiple games out of a Wild Card spot. Fortunately, the Steelers delivered in a big way.

Ben Roethlisberger and the offense had a rocky start, but the future Hall of Famer eventually turned things around with a huge 17-point fourth-quarter that included the game-winning touchdown drive. Diontae Johnson and Najee Harris proved to be big contributors down the stretch.

The defense was even better in this contest. Though they did allow a 99-yard touchdown drive in the first half, T.J. Watt and company sacked Lamar Jackson a whopping 7 times and didn’t allow him to catch any sort of rhythm on offense.

You could see the energy from this squad in this all-important win, but is it enough to believe that the Steelers can be true competitors this year?

Why Steelers can make the playoffs

It’s not going to be easy, but if the Pittsburgh Steelers can win four of their last five games, they certainly will be deserving of making the playoffs — especially considering the road they have ahead of them. After their win against the Ravens, fans are cautiously optimistic that they may be able to do just that.

Things didn’t exactly go perfectly for the Steelers in the win this week. Roethlisberger and the offense had a hard time converting on third downs, while the defense allowed the Ravens to move the chains on third and long much more often than they should have. Still, this team played with a fire I haven’t seen since Week 1 when they defeated the Buffalo Bills on the road.

A healthy T.J. Watt makes a world of a difference, as he was virtually unblockable against Baltimore in Week 13. His intensity seemed to have elevated the play of his teammates around him, and they were beyond fired-up against their division rivals.

With most of their players on the mend and Ben Roethlisberger coming off one of his better games of the season, there’s reason to believe the Steelers will carry this momentum into Minnesota this week.

Trending. Steelers vs. Ravens: Winners and losers from narrow Week 13 win. light

While Pittsburgh still has challenging matchups against the Titans, Chiefs, Browns, and Ravens to close out the season, this sudden jolt of energy from the Steelers has given us ample reason to believe they can win enough games down the stretch to crack the playoffs. Once in the tournament, anything can happen.