CLEVELAND—The Steelers lost here to a really bad Cleveland Browns team on a frigid December Thursday night in 2009. It was their fifth consecutive defeat and left them with a 6-7 record. Nose tackle Casey Hampton put their playoff chances into perspective.
"This [bleep's] a wrap."
Hampton was right in '09. The Steelers missed the playoffs despite winning their final three games. The situation isn't quite so dire after this latest 20-14 defeat. The Steelers are 6-5 and would be the second AFC wild-card team and No. 6 playoff seed if the season ended today based on their win Oct. 21 against the Cincinnati Bengals, the other 6-5 team in the AFC. But the Bengals are coming -- they beat the Oakland Raiders Sunday for the third consecutive win -- and will play Dec. 23 at Heinz Field. Dead ahead for the Steelers Sunday is a much tougher game against the Ravens in Baltimore. Good luck to them there. Only one man figures to be able to save the Steelers now.
"I'm going to try," injured quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said when asked if he thought he could play against the Ravens. "It's killing me to watch."
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