Inside the Laufer Room: The ‘almost’ perfect storm

Zach Laufer, Staff Writer

After an excruciating season filled with more downs than ups, the Pittsburgh Steelers somehow found themselves with a chance to get into the playoffs as the 6th seed. The scenario went as follows:

Steelers WIN vs CLE

BAL LOSE vs CIN

MIA LOSE vs NYJ

SD LOSE vs KC

The mathematical chance of Pittsburgh getting in was about as small as the Houston Texans not getting the first pick in next year’s draft. But, every game had to be played.

First, the Steelers took care of business against the Browns, winning by a score of 20-7. Next, the defending champs crumpled under the pressure, losing to Cincinnati 34-17. Miami then looked sluggish against an inspired Jets team, losing 20-7.

It all came down to San Diego vs Kansas City. Hopes were low for Steelers fans due to the Chiefs resting most of their starters in the game. However, the Chiefs found themselves up by 10 with 11 minutes left to play.

Then the Chargers rallied to score 10 unanswered points to tie the game up at 24 with slightly over three minutes left. But backup QB Chase Daniel drove the Chiefs right down the field to the Chargers’ 25-yard line with 9 seconds left.

All that stood between the Steelers and a playoff berth was a 41 yard field goal by one of the best kickers in the NFL, Ryan Succop. And then, as if to prove that the Steelers were not destined to go any further, it hung out to the right.

As if that wasn’t a clear enough message, overtime brought another to really implant it into the brains of yinzers everywhere.

On the Chargers first possession, they tried a fake punt on 4th and 2. As Eric Weddle was moving forward along with the pile, the ball was taken by a Chiefs’ player into the end zone. However, the referees ruled Weddle down by forward progress right before the ball was stripped.

The only problem with this ruling was that the pile was still moving forward when the ball came out. Therefore, it should have been a live ball and game over in favor of Kansas City. But, then again, that would just be too logical.

San Diego later kicked a field goal on that drive. Kansas City then drove down the field once again, but this one stalled out on a 4th and 15 from the Chargers’ 40-yard line.

Thus ended the Steelers season and sent San Diego into the playoffs. Their perfect storm dried up, but fans everywhere enjoyed the ride.

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