Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has gone from the hot seat to control of his team’s playoff destiny in a few short weeks.
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It seems like such a long time ago that the Steelers were struggling on offense and people were calling for head coach Mike Tomlin and offensive coordinator Todd Haley to hit the road. Yet now the Steelers have one of the league’s best RBs in Le’Veon Bell and best WRs in Antonio Brown and are poised for a playoff berth – and possibly a division title if they win out.
That comes down to great coaching on the part of Mike Tomlin, who since 2007 has never had a losing season, no matter how bad things have gotten even at their worst junctures. It also speaks to the underrated greatness of QB Ben Roethlisberger, who despite his age and the numerous hits he’s taken over the years, is playing some of the best football of his career. This Steelers team is dangerous, and will likely be one of the teams to watch out for in the AFC come playoff time.
Here are the playoff scenarios for Week 16 of the NFL season:
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (at New York Jets) – 1. Clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with a win and a Denver loss, 2. Clinches a first-round bye with a win, 3. Clinches a first-round bye with losses by the Colts, Bengals, Steelers and Ravens.
DENVER BRONCOS (at Cincinnati) – Clinches a first-round bye with a win.
CINCINNATI BENGALS (vs. Denver) – 1. Clinches the AFC North with a win, a Pittsburgh loss and a Baltimore loss, 2. Clinches a playoff spot with a win, 3. Clinches a playoff spot with losses by the Chiefs, Chargers and Bills.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS (vs. Kansas City Chiefs) – 1. Clinches a playoff spot with a win.
BALTIMORE RAVENS (at Houston Texans) – 1. Clinches a playoff spot with a win and losses by the Steelers and Bengals, 2. Clinches a playoff spot with losses by the Chiefs and Chargers.
ARIZONA CARDINALS (vs. Seattle) – Clinches NFC West and home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with a win.
DETROIT LIONS (at Chicago) – 1. Detroit clinches NFC North with a win and a Packers loss, 2. Clinches a first-round bye with a win, a Packers loss and a Cowboys loss, 3. Clinches a playoff spot with a win, 4. Clinches a playoff spot with an Eagles loss.
DALLAS COWBOYS (vs. Indianapolis) – 1. Clinches NFC East with a win and an Eagles loss, 2. Clinches a playoff spot with a win and losses by the Packers and Lions.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (at Arizona) – 1. Clinches a playoff spot with a win and a loss by either the Eagles, the Lions or the Packers, 2. Clinches a playoff spot if the Eagles lose AND the Cowboys win.
GREEN BAY PACKERS (at Tampa Bay) – 1. clinches a playoff spot with a win and Eagles loss or Cowboys win, 2. Clinches a playoff spot if the Eagles lose AND the Cowboys win
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (vs. Atlanta) – Clinches the NFC South with a win and a Panthers loss.