Don’t look now, but the Pittsburgh Steelers, who started the season with four straight losses, aren’t dead in the water yet. With their latest victory, a three-point walk off win over the Ravens, the Steelers are back in the AFC North picture, and they’re looking for more.
After starting 0-4, the Steelers caught a break with an early bye week. Sunday’s game against the Ravens was almost a must-win affair. Had the Steelers fell to the Ravens, Pittsburgh would have dropped to 1-5 on the year with a divisional record of 0-2.
Fortunately, at least for the Steelers, that’s not what happened. After leading by a touchdown late in the game, the Ravens were able to drive down the field, tying the game at 16.
The pre-bye week Steelers would have promptly lost the ball via a fumble or interception, but the Steelers of late are the team we remember from a couple of years ago. This time, the Steelers drove down the field for a game winning field goal. With the kick, Pittsburgh knocked off the Ravens and launched themselves back into the playoff picture.
Now let’s be perfectly clear on this, there’s still a lot of work to do. Still, going toe to toe with the Ravens and beating them at their own game is an impressive accomplishment, and it’ll put the rest of the division, and the NFL for that matter on notice.
Moving forward, the Steelers are in pretty good shape. They’re biggest loss to date was their week two defeat at the hands of the Bengals. Week one’s loss to the Titans probably won’t turn into a wildcard tie-breaker, and their losses against NFC teams were rough, but like the Titans game, play almost no role in playoff tie-breakers.
With a win next week against the Raiders, the Steelers could set themselves up for a pivotal game against the Patriots in early November. That game will mark the mid-season point for the Steelers, and it will likely determine how realistic a postseason push by Pittsburgh really is.