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By Jesse Reed,
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.
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 match-up 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.