If you were worried that you would go the whole 2023 season without seeing an ugly bad-weather game by the Pittsburgh Steelers, you got your wish. In their season finale against the Ravens, torrential downpours in Baltimore created the perfect conditions for a slop-fest mud bowl in the season finale.
The brutal weather conditions played a major factor in this contest from the gate. On Pittsburgh's first possession alone, running backs Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren both had the ball nearly squirt from their hands on routine exchanges from the quarterback. Things only got sloppier from here.
There were numerous changes of possession in this contest as a result of lost fumbles. By the end of the game, Pittsburgh had coughed up the football a whopping 6 times, while the Ravens had a pair of fumbles from their running backs. This brought the total to a whopping 8 fumbles for the game. Fortunately, the Steelers only lost 2 of their 6 fumbles.
Apart from the inability to hang onto the ball by the Steelers, Najee Harris had a thoroughly impressive game in the monsoon conditions. Harris ran the ball 26 times for 112 yards and a touchdown, per ESPN stats. His efficiency on the ground helped sustain their big touchdown-scoring drive in the first half.
In the second half, a massive 71-yard pitch and catch from Mason Rudolph to Diontae Johnson gave the Steelers a 14-7 lead. This proved to be too much for the Ravens to overcome. Another field goal drive by Pittsburgh put the game on ice as they advanced to 10-7 on the season following their 17-10 win.
Steelers win, but they still need help to make the playoffs
Despite their sloppy play at times, the Pittsburgh Steelers were able to emerge victorious in their pivotal season-finale, but the win itself isn't enough to vault them into a Wild Card spot in the NFL playoffs.
Following their victory, the Steelers jumped up to a 65 percent probability of making it to the postseason, per NFL.com's playoff picture. However, they still need things to go their way on Sunday.
Their most likely route to make the playoff now hinges on a pair of games in Week 18. The first is a 1:00 p.m. ET game between the Jaguars and Titans. Steelers fans need Tennessee to pull off the home win for Pittsburgh to earn a playoff spot.
If this doesn't go their way, every Steelers fan will be rooting for the Dolphins to beat the Bills on Sunday Night Football. Here are all five playoff entry scenarios mapped out for the Steelers.
Though this was a crucial win over the Ravens in the season finale, the Pittsburgh Steelers suffered a serious blow as their best player, T.J. Watt, went down with a potentially serious knee injury in this contest. If they do earn a playoff spot, they could enter the postseason without their biggest weapon at their disposal.
Stay with us as we keep you updated. For now, the Pittsburgh Steelers are very much alive in the playoff race, and there's more reason than ever to root for a pair of opposing teams on the final day of the 2023 regular season.