Getting into the playoffs isn’t usually this complicated for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but by losing four of their last five games and falling to 7-7, they’ve made it a rare flowchart year.
The Steelers usually have a playoff spot wrapped up by this time of year. They’ve finished 12-4 three out of the last four seasons, above the fray of all the calculations and permutations of the playoff picture.
Not this year.
This flowchart was produced using ESPN.com’s NFL Playoff Machine as a guide. It might make it seem like the Steelers need a Rube Goldberg contraption to make the playoffs, but their task isn’t that complex. They finish the regular season with home games against the Bengals (8-6) Sunday and the Browns Dec. 30. If they win both of those games, they’re in the playoffs.
If the Steelers fail to win out and our eyes have to navigate this flowchart, here’s what we need to know:
The Ravens (9-5) finish the regular season at home against the Giants and at Cincinnati.
The Colts (9-...