Rob Carr/Getty ImagesWith the season on the line, the Pittsburgh Steelers needed a victory over the Baltimore Ravens in order to give it the best chance at making the postseason.
It was ugly but Pittsburgh got the job done.
Pittsburgh Steelers @steelersTook care of business @UnibetUS | #HereWeGo pic.twitter.com/kIsxRhzNIw
NFL @NFLFINAL: A huge win for the @steelers as they fight for a spot in the playoffs. #PITvsBAL pic.twitter.com/jG1pu50XdA
The Ravens, who entered the game locked-in as the No. 1 seed in the AFC, did not have quarterback Lamar Jackson on the field. Still, Pittsburgh relied on Mason Rudolph as the signal-caller and lost star linebacker T.J. Watt in the second half to a knee injury.
Rudolph was very efficient in the game, going 18-of-20 for 152 yards and a touchdown. Still, a majority of those yards came on one explosive play that saw Dionte Johnson go for 71 yards and a huge touchdown.
Bleacher Report @BleacherReportDIONTAE JOHNSON TAKES IT 71 YDS FOR THE LEAD 🔥
Najee Harris was the top rusher for Pittsburgh, having 26 carries for 112 yards and a touchdown. Johnson finished with four catches for 89 yards and that massive touchdown, while the Steelers defense limited Baltimore to just 224 yards of offense and sacked Tyler Huntley four times.
Fans on social media praised the Steelers resiliency and head coach Mike Tomlin’s ability to consistently produce teams with winning records.
Eric @TooFresh208Steelers did what they needed to do #HereWeGo
Frick @joefrkSteelers fans to Mike Tomlin: pic.twitter.com/EBAoqXTupp
Ross Tucker @RossTuckerNFLMike Tomlin won ten games with bottom 10 (bottom 5?) QB play and every Steelers fan I know was adamant he should be fired 3 weeks ago. 🤷♂️
Brian Horn @BrianHo55101106Congratulations to QB Mason Rudolph and the Pittsburgh Steelers on a great win against the Baltimore Ravens.
Matt Infield @Matt_InfieldSeriously respect the hell out of the Steelers as an organization and especially Tomlin.
There are just other teams and QBs I’d rather see in the playoffs than them led by Mason Rudolph lol https://t.co/UqDoaxZkqs
Paul Rigney @PaulRRigneyThe Steelers getting in by a tie would be VERY funny.
Chris Suppers @chris_suppersThe Pittsburgh Steelers have not lost a game this entire year.
Odds Shark @OddsSharkWould Mike Tomlin be the best coach in Steelers history if Pittsburgh clinched a playoff birth? pic.twitter.com/ic8UEBvkqh
Cleo Griffith @GriffithCleoMason Rudolph for MVP, this man have matured so much I’m very happy for him #Steelers
James D Koh @JamesDKohWhat is ABUNDANTLY clear is that if the Steelers fired Matt Canada last offseason they absolutely would be in the playoffs right now
Tim Benz @TimBenzPGHI’m still baffled at the notion that this #Steelers team might go 5-1 in-divison…against a division that may have all four teams finish above .500…and two losses to two last place teams at home in other divisions still may cost them the playoffs.
The Steelers still need some help in order to clinch a playoff spot. A tie between the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts Saturday night would get Pittsburgh there, as would a loss by the Buffalo Bills and a loss or tie by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Adam Schefter @AdamSchefterSteelers now need one of these three scenarios to happen in order to make the playoffs:
🏈Jaguars lose to Titans or tie.
🏈Bills lose to Dolphins.
🏈Colts-Texans game ends in a tie. pic.twitter.com/Y320zMoDCi
Bill Barnwell @billbarnwellSteelers playoff scenarios (no ties edition):
Bills + Jags both win -> Steelers out
Bills win, Jags lose -> Steelers @ Bills
Jags win, Bills lose -> Steelers @ Dolphins
Both Bills and Jags lose -> Steelers @ Chiefs
If the Steelers were to fall short of the postseason, it would be the first time a 10-win team had missed the playoffs since the playoff field expanded to seven teams per conference in the 2021 season.