Steelers Also Screwed the Dolphins' Playoff Chances by Tanking
The Miami Dolphins entered Week 17 with a solid chance of making the NFL playoffs, needing a win against the Buffalo Bills or a loss by one of a few AFC teams to secure their spot. Instead, the team poorly performed in Buffalo, and they didn't get any help from the teams they needed to lose, forcing them to start their already-eventful offseason early.
With their loss against the Bills, one team that could've helped Miami is the Pittsburgh Steelers. If Pittsburgh handed the Cleveland Browns a loss, it would've let the Dolphins into the postseason. Instead, Pittsburgh took a very lax approach in their game.
The Steelers rested key starters like Ben Roethlisberger and TJ Watt, opening up a path for the Browns to earn an easy win. In other words, the Steelers screwed the Dolphins.
Pittsburgh ending up making the game close, and Cleveland needed a third-down conversion by Baker Mayfield to seal the game in the end, but the Steelers' decision to rest starters clearly affected the outcome of that game. If it was Roethlisberger instead of Mason Rudolph under center, it likely would've been a different result, especially considering the game ended in a tight 24-22 final score.
Of course, the Browns weren't the only team that Miami needed to lose. And the Dolphins could've avoided relying on other teams if they beat Buffalo, but the Steelers' role in them missing the playoffs should not be forgotten.
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