Unleashing Hell: A Look at The Steelers Competition For a Playoff Spot

Bob MarleyCorrespondent IDecember 2, 2009

PITTSBURGH - AUGUST 08: Mike Tomlin, head coach  of the Pittsburgh Steelers watches play against the Philadelphia Eagles during a preseason game on August 8, 2008 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

With the Pittsburgh Steelers losing a close game in overtime to the Ravens, can the Steelers push their way into the playoffs.  Using the remaining games from some of the true playoff contenders, we will find out.

Pittsburgh: Going into December, the Steelers look like they may be in the driver's seat to a wild card birth.  This week against Oakland may be tougher than expected.  With Gradkowski in at quarterback, the Raiders were able to upset Cincinatti.  I look for this game to be tough fought, but also for see a Steelers victory.

The Steelers play Cleveland next.  This game should not be closely contested at all as the Steelers should pull away fast and easily.  This is Cleveland we are playing, shall I say any more?

The week after Cleveland is Green Bay, who is in the playoff hunt in the NFC.  The outcome of this game will probably depend on Polamalu playing or not.  Seeing that the Packers offensive line is not solid, we should have a good day rushing Aaron Rodgers.  I believe that the Steelers can force a key play late to win this game.

Of course, this year won't be interesting unless we play Baltimore with something to lose.  Without Ben at Baltimore, the Steelers looked fairly solid.  With Ben, I believe that we could win by double digits with a strong day also from Rashard Mendenhall.

The final game of the season comes against the wild Miami Dolphins.  The Dolphins rely heavily on the run with Ricky Williams.  Losing Ronnie Brown could make a huge impact on how this game turns out.  The Steelers should force Ricky Williams to blow the marijuana smoke out of his body and defeat the Dolphins by forcing a few turnovers thru the air. 

Record Prediction: 11-5


Denver:   The Broncos have been a mostly up and own team this year.  After starting 6-0, they went on a steep slide.  This week, they find themselves at 7-4, with Kansas City next on their schedule.  The Broncos have a schedule with an average amount of toughness, so it will be interesting to see how they finish.

When the Broncos go to Arrowhead Stadium this week to play the Chiefs, I do not see good things happening.  Typically, the Chiefs play Strong at Arrowhead, and normally play the Broncos extremely hard there.  I think that this game will be close toward the end and Kansas City will pull it out.

The Broncos schedule does not get any easier when they play Indianapolis after Kansas City.  Indianapolis has played very well this season and I do not see it ending this week.  The Broncos may jump out to an early lead, but won't keep it as they lose to the Colts.

After the Colts, the Broncos will travel to Oakland where they should rebound.  I would look for Moreno to have a big day rushing the ball as the Raiders will fall and teh Broncos will rebound for a much needed victory against a poor squad.

A West Coast team traveling to the East Coast for a game at 1:00 pm.  That is never good for your team.  The Broncos will do this against the Eagles in a game that the Eagles could easily blow wide open.  The Broncos wll be a tired group of players playing at an awkward time.  I see the Eagles winning big here.

The Broncos will then finish off the season with a must win game against Kansas City at home.  With the Broncos needing a win to make it to the playoffs, I see them playing hard and earning an easy win against an up-and-coming group of players.

Record: 9-7


Jacksonville  The Jaguars have been an underestimated team this season.  That is because they have unimpressively won close games all season long.  I see this game against Houston this week as a heartbreaker.  The Texans had the Colts for three quarters last week and blew the game at the end.  Without Mathis in the lineup, the Texans should be able to pass over Jacksonville all day for an easy win.

The Jaguars then will have the Miami Dolphins come to town in what should be a close game.  The Jaguars and Dolphins can both run the ball, which will be a huge factor in the team that the wins the game.  Sorry Ricky Williams, I have more faith in MJD.  The Jaguars pull away with the win in the end.

Indianapolis will come into Jacksonville steaming hot.  This game shouldn't, and won't, be closely contested like week one.  The Colts will pass all over the Jaguar's secondary for a huge win and a heartbreaking loss for the Jaguars.

After Indianapolis, the Jaguars will face the Patriots.  The Patriots are typically strong in December, which doesn't help the Jaguars.  I have a feeling this game could be as bad as the game against Tennessee.  Jaguars will practically get murdered by Tom Brady and the gang.

Closing out the season against Cleveland should be fairly easy for the Jaguars.  The only team Cleveland put up a real fight with was Detroit, and they still didn't win.   The Jaguars will play strong and push for a wild card birth as they go on to win it.

Baltimore:   The Steelers nemisis has a fairly easy schedule in December.  They first start out against the Packers at Lambeau, which will be tough.  This team looked average at best against the Steelers and will probably lose a close one by a field goal.

If Baltimore loses to Green Bay, they have a great way to rebound against the Lions.  The Ravens will unleash the passing attack and stomp the ground with the running game.  Ray Lewis is licking his lips about this game.

Jay Cutler leads the league in interceptions and the Ravens have Ed Reed.  When the Bears come to town, I sense murder.  This team should easily destroy the Bears ground game and force Jay Cutler into a few mistakes.  The Ravens could easily win by double digits.

The Ravens biggest game of the season come against the Steelers on the road.  That is not how you want your season to be determined.  This will be a very physical game that may come down to a field goal.  With Ben Roethlisberger and Troy Polamalu healthy, the Steelers should defeat the Ravens.

With the Ravens needing a win, they will travel to Oakland to play the pee wee team known as the Raiders.  Some may call this a trap game because Oakland has nothing to play for.  I call it a win for the Ravens because you have to learn how to play before you can play for something.

Record: 9-7


Teams that may sneak up:





AFC North- Cincinatti

AFC South- Indianapolis

AFC East- New Englan

AFC West- San Diego

Wild Card- Pittsburgh

Wild Card- Tennessee