Pittsburgh Steelers' Miracle Playoff Hopes Fall Inches Short

By Jeff Hartman
Pittsburgh Steelers
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers needed a lot of events to take place for them to sneak into the sixth seed of the AFC Playoff picture, and some might even call those playoff hopes nearing miracle status. Nonetheless, after the Steelers defeated the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field in dominating fashion, it seemed as if the Steelers and their fan base were about to receive a Christmas miracle.

The events that needed to occur were losses by the Baltimore Ravens, the Miami Dolphins and the San Diego Chargers. The 1:00 p.m. EST games brought more than just a win, but also a loss for the Ravens and Dolphins. All the Steelers needed was a Chargers loss and they would be playing next week in the AFC Wild Card round of the postseason.

News broke during the second half of the 1:00 p.m. games that the Kansas City Chiefs would be resting their starters as they have already locked up their playoff spot. However, Pittsburgh fans worldwide kept hope that even a depleted Chiefs roster would still be able to pull out a victory over the Chargers to catapult the Steelers into the playoffs.

The game was a back and forth affair that when all was said in done came down to a Chiefs field goal attempt to win the game. As Steelers fans watched with the entire organization hoping and praying for that field goal attempt to sail through the uprights, it sailed inches to the right of the right upright. The game was sent to overtime where the Chargers would prevail and end the Steelers season in the blink of an eye.

Some might say that the Steelers should be proud of their season as they batted back from 0-4 and 2-6 starts to finish the season 8-8, but this season left a lot to be desired. Horrible losses to the Minnesota VikingsTennessee TitansOakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins left the Steelers wondering what could have been with this 2013 season, but those are thoughts that will have to linger for an entire offseason.

As this season comes to a conclusion, the Steelers are facing a very rare uncertainty amongst their coaching staff and roster. Those decisions will be coming early and often for a Steelers organization that is thirsty for change at a lot of different positions, but until those changes are made, the bad taste that is in the Steelers and their fan’s mouths will have to simply remain until next season washes it away with the promise of a new season and new possibilities.

Jeff Hartman covers the Pittsburgh Steelers for RantSports.com and also contributes for the Penguins and Pirates. Follow him on Twitter @BnGBlitz and add him on Google+.

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