The Pittsburgh Steelers experienced another tied game after three years.
Back then, the Steelers finished with a 21-21 tie against the Cleveland Browns.
This season, they had the same situation against the Detroit Lions.
Your thoughts on the Pittsburgh Steelers tying the Detroit Lions yesterday @ToneDigz??
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) November 15, 2021
However, the result had a harsher sting on the Steelers because they had two drives that ended in fumbles.
There’s some sense of relief on the Lions’ part because they did not lose.
On the other hand, this game might haunt Pittsburgh’s playoff hopes, especially in a hotly-contested AFC North.
Every Game Counts
The division title might go down the wire in the AFC North.
The Baltimore Ravens have the best record after Week 10 with a 6-3 record.
But the Cincinnati Bengals and the Browns are not far behind at 5-4 and 5-5, respectively.
Meanwhile, the Steelers are currently in second place with a 5-3-1 slate.
The Detroit Lions 16-16 tie with the Pittsburgh Steelers' is the worst loss of coach Tomlin's career.
And yeah, I meant what I said.
— John U. Bacon (@Johnubacon) November 15, 2021
The NFL puts more weight onto ties when it comes to tiebreakers.
If the Steelers, Bengals, and Browns ended up with the same number of wins by the end of the regular season, Pittsburgh gets a higher ranking due to the tie with Detroit.
However, it can be detrimental to their cause if any team had more wins after 17 games.
If the margin came down to one game, the Steelers would forever wish they had taken better care of the ball against the Lions.
As for head coach Mike Tomlin, he still needs at least four victories to maintain his streak of winning seasons.
Unfortunately, a duplicate performance in the coming weeks might deliver more losses than wins.
That scenario might cost Tomlin his job.
Remaining AFC North Games For Pittsburgh
Ironically, the Steelers still have four games left against their division rivals.
They will visit Cincinnati in Week 12 and face Baltimore at home one week later.
A home game against Cleveland will happen in Week 17 and they close the regular season on the road against the Ravens.
Winning them all guarantees Tomlin another winning season and gives Pittsburgh better odds of making the playoffs due to their superior conference record.
AFC North in Week 10:
Steelers: tied the 0-8 Lions
Ravens: lost to 2-7 Dolphins
Browns: lost 45-7 to Patriots pic.twitter.com/uS1dAd2Ml8
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) November 14, 2021
But if they can win all four games, there’s also a chance that they can lose all four.
This season, AFC North games are always 50-50 because the teams have equal talent levels on paper.
Their games boil down to which squad executed their plays better and brought more energy to win.
They deserve to lose if the Steelers played their remaining games as they did against the Lions.
It’s not an AFC North season without a random tie
— Kofie (@Kofie) November 14, 2021
Every defeat they get pushes them further down the division standings.
Sadly, the veteran quarterback is still uncertain for Week 11 versus the Los Angeles Chargers due to COVID-19.
It’s not yet sure if he will satisfy the requirement of two negative tests within 24 hours to get the green light to play.
The AFC north ending is going to be crazy pic.twitter.com/qrQML8PyGW
— 🥶. (@MILESBOYKIN) November 12, 2021
Even if he did achieve a clean bill of health, the lack of practices might leave him unprepared for the grind.
Therefore, the Steelers are in a grim situation without their long-time leader on offense.