5 Reasons the 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers Still Can Make the Playoffs

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5 Reasons the 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers Still Can Make the Playoffs
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Believing that the 0-3 Pittsburgh Steelers can make the playoffs in 2013 might be akin to believing in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and unicorns.

Only three teams have made the playoffs after an 0-3 start since the NFL went to a 12-team postseason in 1990, according to the The New York Times.

The Steelers have never done it, but they did reach the playoffs in 2002 after a 1-3 start. That's where they would be if they defeat the Minnesota Vikings Week 4 in London. The 2002 Steelers improved to 10-5-1 after their 1-3 start and advanced to the divisional round of the playoffs. Even in 2000, when they started 0-3, the Steelers won five straight and remained in playoff contention into December. They finished 9-7 that year.

Four AFC teams are 3-0, so getting an AFC wild-card berth won't be easy. But a 9-7 record might be enough to win the AFC North, where there are no unbeaten teams.

If the 2000 Steelers can finish 9-7 with Kordell Stewart at quarterback, the 2013 Steelers can do it with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback.

Like most players on the team, however, Roethlisberger has to play better. Before thinking about the playoffs the Steelers have to follow a lot of bread crumbs to get back on the path to respectability, and the first step in that direction is a win Sunday.

If the Steelers lose to the winless Vikings, their bye week might as well be their bye-bye week. It will be time to say "Wait 'til next year."

Even Santa Claus might wait 'til next year and skip Pittsburgh.

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