The Steelers did what they had to do, by beating the Cleveland Browns 13-9. Unfortunately, neither the Buffalo Bills nor the Cincinnati Bengals gave the Steelers the help that they needed.
The Bills lost to the New England Patriots 49-21, after blowing a 21-0 lead, and the Bengals lost to the Baltimore Ravens. So instead of gaining the #1 or #2 seed in the AFC playoffs, the Steelers will be the #5 seed, and will travel to Denver next week to face the Denver Tebows.
As has been the Steelers habit this season, they played down to the level of their opponent. The Browns, who finished the season with a 4-12 record, gave the Steelers all they could handle. Cleveland actually led 6-3 at halftime. But the Steelers managed a field goal and a touchdown in the second half to pull out the win.
But it was a win that came at a cost. Ben Roethlisberger was already nursing a high ankle sprain, and didn’t look particularly mobile during the game. LaMarr Woodley sat out due to the hamstring injury that he’s been nursing for most of the second half of the season. And now Rashard Mendenhall suffered a torn ACL that might cause him to miss the playoffs. Mendenhall went to the ground without ever being hit. That’s never a good sign.
With Mendenhall out, the Steelers were left with Isaac Redman and John Clay as the only two healthy running backs on the Steelers’ roster. Clay was on the Steelers’ practice squad just two weeks ago. Fortunately, Mewelde Moore may be able to play next week, after missing two games with a sprained knee.
So the Steelers will limp out to Colorado to face the Denver Broncos, and all of the hype that surrounds their quarterback, Tim Tebow. The game will be played at 4:30pm next Sunday.
In the words of Bart Scott; “Can’t wait!”
Other Steelers News
- Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward caught the five passes that he needed to reach 1,000 catches for his career.
- Heath Miller surpassed Lynn Swann and became the 4th leading receiver in Pittsburgh Steelers history.
- Is it just my imagination, or have the Steelers placed Mike Wallace in the Witness Protection Program? The Steelers seem to have forgotten about Wallace, as Antonio Brown has emerged as Ben Roethlisberger’s favorite target. Hopefully, the Steelers will remember that Wallace is actually on the roster, and try throwing the ball to him during the playoffs.