The Pittsburgh Steelers finally appeared to be rounding into form just in time for a run at the playoffs and even the AFC North title after a three-game winning streak. But just like that, all of those hopes were dashed on tHanksgiving night, as the Baltimore Ravens squeaked-out a 22-20 win over the Steelers, dropping them to 5-7 and 2.5 games back of the AFC North-leading Cincinnati Bengals.
Not only that, but they’re 1.5 games behind the 5-6 Tennessee Titans, who hold the No. 6 seed in the AFC (not counting Baltimore’s 6-6 record) and have a head-to-head win over Pittsburgh, meaning the Steelers would need to win two more games than Tennessee the rest of the way.
Ironically, it was against Tennessee in Week 1 when Pittsburgh lost Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey, and they’ve just lost their replacement for him in Fernando Velasco, who was just placed on the injured reserve list:
.@steelers place C Fernando Velasco on IR; release DeMarcus Van Dyke – team signs OT Rashad Butler & C Eric Olsen.
— Burt Lauten (@SteelersPRBurt) November 30, 2013
That makes two centers on IR. Next up normally wd b Beachum but he is playing too well at LT AND now hurt as well
— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) November 30, 2013
With games against the Miami Dolphins (Randy Starks/Paul Soliai), Green Bay Packers (B.J. Raji) and Cleveland Browns (Phil Taylor), the interior of the Steelers offensive line is going to be a huge liability the rest of the season.
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