The Pittsburgh Steelers are once again right in the thick of a playoff race that could be derailed by the Cincinnati Bengals. In 2012, Pitt hosted Cincy in a must-win game that would have given the Steelers the lead for the final wild-card spot had they won. However, it was the Bengals who came into the Steel City and left with a win and clinched a playoff berth in the process.
Last year, the Steelers finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs by one game. Had Cincinnati beat Pittsburgh in their Week 15 clash, that would have knocked Pitt out of postseason contention right then. Pitt would go on to beat the Bengals 30-20 to keep their playoff hopes alive. Both teams enter a similar scenario this year with Cincy in the playoff picture as of now, while the Steelers are on the outside looking in.
At SB Nation, Danny Kelly broke down the odds for both teams making the playoffs, and it's not looking good for Pittsburgh.
Right now, FiveThirtyEight has Pittsburgh with just 31 percent odds to make the playoffs, according to their ELO metric. Football Outsiders is right there with them, with their DVOA metric putting the Steelers' odds for the postseason at 34.1 percent.
FiveThirtyEight's ELO is high on Cincy, and puts them at 80.3 percent odds to make the playoffs. Football Outsiders isn't as bullish, giving them just 65.3 percent odds.
So just how much would a win on Sunday do for both teams?
According to FiveThirtyEight, if Pittsburgh wins, their odds for the Playoffs increase 23.8 percent and would put them at 52 percent, but if they lose, their odds drop to around 13.9 percent. That's a 38-point percentage swing hanging on one game. Gulp.
No matter how you cut it, this game is a big one -- per ELO, Cincy's odds for the Playoffs would go to 92.2 percent with a win but drop to 60.5 percent with a loss -- a huge 31.8-percent swing.