Latest NFL Leads

Keyshawn Johnson: Steelers Might Make AFC Championship Game

Liam McKeone
Ben Roethlisberger
Ben Roethlisberger / Patrick Smith/GettyImages
facebooktwitter

The Pittsburgh Steelers squeaked into the playoffs as the final wild card seed on the last day of the NFL season, and it was no small miracle. In order for Ben Roethlisberger's last ride to continue, Pittsburgh needed the worst team in the NFL to beat the Indianapolis Colts, then they needed to beat the Ravens in Baltimore, and then hope Chargers-Raiders didn't end in a tie.

Against all odds, all those things happened, and the Steelers will now play for at least one more weekend. For their troubles, the team has earned a trip to Kansas City to face the Chiefs. The same Chiefs who beat these same Steelers by 26 points merely two weeks ago. There is nobody outside of the greater Pittsburgh area who thinks Roethlisberger and Co. have a prayer against Patrick Mahomes-- other than Keyshawn Johnson, that is, who said the Steelers could make a run to the AFC Championship Game.

Johnson avoids the pitfalls of any football-based argument and instead leans towards the "any given Sunday" justification which is hard to disprove. And he is, technically, right. Flukey stuff tends to happen in the playoffs and the margin for error is so slim that a weird bounce or an untimely sprain could change the outcome of a game entirely.

But the Steelers are so vastly outmatched by just about everybody else in the playoff field that it's not quite as simple as that. The Steelers will need numerous strange bounces to even keep it close with KC next weekend, much less pull off the upset and continue to advance all the way to the conference finals. They are not a good team. They are a bad team who scraped by for long enough to make the postseason, but needed a lot of help along the way to do so.

Every other playoff game should be competitive with the kind of unpredictability that Johnson is talking about. But not Chiefs-Steelers. That one will be over quickly, as sad as that is to process for Roethlisberger's fans.

facebooktwitter