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December 11, 2009 - Buck Frank
If the Steelers somehow find a way to turn around this five-game losing streak and win their last three games -- the next two are at home -- they still have a chance to get a playoff berth.
I don't think it will happen, but you can't say they're dead, yet. Hines Ward has already said they're done, and nearly all of the TV analysts have buried them, too.
It appears the Steelers are among a group of teams fighting for the sixth seed, but the fifth seed is not a lock. The current fifth-seeded Broncos (8-4) have four losses and still have games in Indianapolis and Philadelphia along with two divisional home games. The Steelers would hold a tie-breaker on them.
Of the other teams, the Steelers still have to play the Ravens (6-6) and Dolphins (6-6) and could give each of them their seventh loss.
--The Jaguars (7-5) have games against Indy and New England and end the season in Cleveland. This week, they play Miami, and Steelers fans should be rooting for the Dolphins.
--The Jets (6-6) still have to play Atlanta, Indy and Cincinnati.
--The Dolphins also have games against 5-7 Tennessee and 5-7 Houston, so those teams could end up knocking each other out.
Any of the teams still in the hunt that can string together a three-game win streak will have a good chance at making the playoffs. Crazier things have happened,
Of all the above outcomes that have to go the Steelers' way, the one that is most likely not to happen is the Steelers winning three straight.