Steelers hope for luck of '89

Steelers hope for luck of '89
December 24, 2013, 7:45 pm
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3-and-out: Can Ravens win on the road?

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin looks on from the sidelines against the Buffalo Bills during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 23-10.

(Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

The Steelers have a small window of opportunity to make the playoffs. But they are ready to crawl through that window.

Now, if the image of Steelers crawling through a window isn’t creepy enough for you, there is the odd metaphor that Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin chose to use to describe the situation his team finds itself in regarding a postseason berth.

“Still having a horse in this race is important to us,” Tomlin said, as reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We’re excited about getting back in front of our fans and doing it in Heinz Field against a familiar opponent [the Browns]. There are a lot of scenarios out there, but our approach will be the same that it’s been for the last two months. We’ve made this bed and I like the way this group is laying in it.”

A horse in the race is one thing, but praising the way his players are lying in bed? Now, that’s a new one.

[RELATED: Ravens focused on Bengals in Week 17]

(By the way, that reminds us of a Steven Wright joke: “When I woke up this morning, my girlfriend asked me, ‘Did you sleep well?’ I said, ‘No, I made a couple of mistakes.’”)

After the Steelers get out of bed on Sunday, in order to make the playoffs, they must beat Cleveland and then the Ravens, Dolphins and Chargers must lose. The Post-Gazette points out that the Steelers faced the same situation in 1989 — needing a win and three other teams to lose — and made the playoffs.

And if history is going to repeat, it will be partly because the Steelers took care of their business in Week 17.

 “Largely, it’s about us and having a singular focus that’s going to be necessary to produce an A-like performance for us amidst the [playoff] possibilities,” Tomlin said. “We just want to live in these moments, prepare to the best of our abilities and put ourselves in the best position to play.”

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