By Jeremy Hritz
Despite the turmoil and tumult of the 2021 season, the Steelers still have an opportunity to make it into the postseason, if–and that’s a big if–they can play well and win at least 3 of their final 4 games. And that’s easier said than done, as their remaining opponents all have winning records. Surprisingly, the most efficient route to the playoffs this year is not via a Wild Card berth, but rather through an AFC North Championship, not only because of the closeness of the competition, but also because of the difficult remaining schedules of the Steelers AFC North rivals.
Below, you will find the remaining schedules of the Ravens, Bengals, Browns, and Steelers, and what you will immediately notice, is the demanding nature of their final opponents. It’s not just Pittsburgh who has an uphill battle at the conclusion of this season, it is all of the AFC North teams, and that will make for one unpredictable ride to the finish.
It is highly possible that the Steelers could be in play for the AFC North crown come their final contest in Baltimore to end the season, and what a story that would be. If you remember, Ben Roethlisberger’s regular season career began in Baltimore when he got his first regular season action on September 19th, 2004; how phenomenal of a story would it be, his career coming full circle where it began, to lead his team to victory against the team who you could argue he built his legend?
While the above narrative is fantastical, it is a possibility, and yes, the Steelers are still very much alive. There run must start this weekend if they are to have a realistic shot, and continued porous run defense and anemic offensive drives will not help their cause.
Can the Steelers do it? Will they do it? The odds aren’t great. But there’s still a chance.
Baltimore’s Remaining Schedule
Cincinnati’s Remaining Schedule
Cleveland’s Remaining Schedule
Pittsburgh’s Remaining Schedule
@ Kansas City