3 outcomes that impacted the Pittsburgh Steelers playoff chances

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Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Pittsburgh’s playoff chances were impacted by the results of a few Week 17 games in the AFC. Here’s what it means for the Steelers playoff picture. 

The first weekend of football was everything many thought it would be. Sunday’s spread kept fans entertained as they began the new year. When the highlights circulated after the final whistle, it had seemed as though the Steelers had gained ground in the AFC playoff picture.

Ben Roethlisberger had the luxury of not suiting up this Sunday. After a week of retirement speculation, the extra day of rest should help him prepare for Monday night. A day off on gameday allowed him and his teammates the opportunity to watch other teams take the field. With the playoff race drawing to its end, the Steelers would need prayer and some help from others. Here are three teams that impacted Pittsburgh’s playoff chances with the results of their games in Week 17:

Indianapolis Colts Lose to Las Vegas Raiders 23-20

Rich Bisaccia has been working hard to lead the Las Vegas Raiders to a winning season. When former head Coach John Gruden parted ways with Las Vegas’ front office, Bisaccia stepped took control. Leaders on the field have helped his transition to head coach smoother than some of his colleagues. Derek Carr’s performances keep the AFC West natives alive in their conference. According to ESPN, Carr has thrown for 4,618 yards passing along with 21 touchdowns.

Leadership is what gave the Raiders an advantage on Sunday against the Colts. Carr’s two hundred- and fifty-five-yards passing was enough to give his team the victory late in the game. Indianapolis’ MVP candidate Jonathon Taylor’s one-hundred and eight yards on the ground was short of giving the Colts a must-needed victory.

When the final whistled sounded, the scoreboard favored Las Vegas, 23-20. Coach Frank Reich and his Colts knew that the loss would benefit the teams below them searching for a way into the picture. Pittsburgh was one of those beneficiaries.

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