Steelers loss to 49ers should help Jets make playoffs

By Marc A. Greenberg

Who would have thought that a Pittsburgh Steelers loss to the San Francisco 49ers would have such an impact on the New York Jets playoff hopes.

But that is exactly what should happen.

With the loss, the Steelers are now tied with the Baltimore Ravens at 10-4 with the Ravens holding the tie-breaker and division lead.  With only two games remaining, and with the Ravens playing the Cincinnati Bengals (tied with the Jets at 8-6) in its final game, look for the Ravens to play their starters throughout, in an attempt to capture the division.

Had the Steelers won on Monday Night, they would have likely won the division next week against the St. Louis Rams, with the Ravens settling for the first wild card spot.  The Ravens most likely would have rested their starters in their Week 17 final game against Cincy, giving the Bengals the advantage over the Jets for the second and final wild card spot.

Got it?

Here are the remaining schedules:

Steelers – St. Louis (2-12), at Cleveland (4-10)

Ravens – Cleveland (4-10), at Cincinnati (8-6)

Bengals – Arizona (7-7), Ravens (10-3)

Jets – Giants (7-7), at Miami (5-9)