Bob Smizik: Steelers still need San Diego loss

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Three of the first four games the Steelers needed to go their way in order to make the playoffs all looks good.

But the fourth game, the one that could undo everything else, does not look good.

Going into the day the Steelers needed to beat Cleveland and they also needed Baltimore, Miami and San Diego to lose.

• The Steelers beat the Cleveland Browns, 20-7, this afternoon at Heinz Field.

• The New York Jets, who were 1-6 on the road this season, beat the Dolphins, 20-7, at Miami.

• The Cincinnati Bengals beat Baltimore, 34-17.

But the final chip, which plays out beginning at 4:25 p.m. -- Kansas City at San Diego -- does not look good. Kansas City is locked into the No. 5 seed in the AFC and with nothing to play for coach Andy Reid is sitting quarterback Alex Smith and running back Jamaal Charles, among others. Smith and Charles are the heart of the KC offense.

The Chiefs have nothing to play for; the Chargers have everything. If the Chargers win, they’re in the playoffs. San Diego beat the Chiefs in Kansas City by three points on Nov. 24.

The Steelers had an easy time with the Browns, taking a 14-0 lead at halftime and extending that by six more points before the Browns scored.

Antonio Brown caught nine passes for 87 yards and Le’Veon Bell ran 20 times for 90 yards to highlight the Steelers' offense. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 179 yards but was intercepted twice.

The Steelers defense thoroughly dominated the Browns.

First Published December 29, 2013 4:06 PM

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