What do the Pittsburgh Steelers need to clinch a playoff berth?

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The Pittsburgh Steelers will face a must-win scenario in a high-stakes clash against their rivals on Saturday afternoon. The Baltimore Ravens have their eyes set on clinching the first seed in the AFC Conference with a win at home. Playoff implications will add intensity to the biggest game of the season. A loss will cancel any plans Mike Tomlin’s squad has of advancing to the next stage of the campaign.

Inconsistencies with the offense have been the headline for Mike Tomlin’s unit this season. They endured a lengthy scoring drought to begin the campaign. It cost Matt Canada his job and forced caused the Steelers to lose games. An ankle injury forced Kenny Picket to miss games heading into a pivotal part of the season. Mike Tomlin turned to his backup quarterbacks to lead the charge.

When Pickett experienced his ankle injury, Mitchell Trubisky became the starter. His efforts against the Arizona Cardinals were noteworthy but did not result in a win. In the following week against the Patriots, the former first-round pick earned his worst offensive grade (44.8) of the season.

It cost Pittsburgh the game and placed another blemish on their divisional record. A third consecutive loss to the Indianapolis Colts was the final straw. The coaching staff benched Trubisky and named Mason Rudolph the starting quarterback in Week 16.

A standout performance against the Cincinnati Bengals changed the narrative associated with Tomlin’s unit. Rudolph led the offense to a 30-point showing. His two touchdown passes and 290 Passing yards kept Lou Anarumo’s defense on their toes throughout the game. It allowed the fourth-year quarterback enough confidence to lead his teammates to victory.

Steelers needs some outside help to reach the playoffs

Similar results against the Seattle Seahawks helped the Steelers obtain a must-have win. Rudolph finished the game without a touchdown but earned his highest offensive grade of his career (87.6). He managed the game effectively and limited costly turnovers (0). His efforts put the Steelers in position to clinch a playoff berth on the road this weekend.

It’s been a long regular season, but the Steelers must finish strong this weekend. A win will boost the team’s chances of extending the campaign. Mike Tomlin’s group will need assistance from other teams to complete another sneaky playoff entrance. They need the Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts, or Jacksonville Jaguars to suffer losses to secure a seat in the AFC bracket.

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The Pittsburgh Steelers must continue their offensive hot streak against a stout defensive unit. Mason Rudolph have shown he can capture a win, but will it be enough?

All statistics courtesy of PFF.com.