How Can Pittsburgh Steelers Clinch a Playoff Berth?

Jesse Reed@@JesseReed78Correspondent IDecember 10, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 09:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers drops back to pass during the third quarter against the San Diego Chargers on December 9, 2012 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost in Week 14, but so did the Cincinnati Bengals. So what do the Steelers need to do to clinch a spot in the postseason?

Simply put, they need to win two of three games and beat the Bengals. 

The Steelers currently hold the tiebreaker over the Bengals for the No. 6 seed because they beat them in Week 7. Pittsburgh holds a one-game lead over the "surging" Jets—a team that has won two games in a row and three of its last four.

With three games remaining on the schedule, the Steelers must not fall flat. 

The team's first obstacle is a Week 15 road tilt at Dallas on Sunday afternoon, but its most important game of the season is a Week 16 matchup against the Bengals. Losing this game would be like losing one-and-a-half games to the Bengals, and their path to the postseason could be blocked for good with another loss the following weekend. 

But a win, now that would be something to build on. 

Beating the Bengals could give the Steelers a postseason berth on the spot, but at the very least the Steelers will have a tiebreaker edge at 8-7 with one game left to play—a Week 17 matchup against the Cleveland Browns

The Steelers beat the Jets in Week 2, so they hold the tiebreaker advantage there should the 6-7 Jets win out.

The Steelers will clinch the No. 6 seed in the AFC if they finish 9-7 and beat the Bengals.

Easy, right?

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78 and check out my weekly NFL picks at Pickfactor.com.

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