Jim Colony, radio host of 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh, was on hand at Heinz Field on Sunday, watching the Steelers vie for the final playoff spot in the AFC. The Steelers entered the day needing to beat the Browns and needing the Bills to beat the Jets.
Pittsburgh got both results it needed, and Colony, who was watching Bills/Jets in the press box, saw each result as it unfolded.
“There was one sequence where the Bills intercepted the ball to snuff out a Jets drive, and then you put your eyes back on the field and the Steelers forced a fumble, recovered it and the next play was an 8-yard pass to Markus Wheaton,” Colony said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “And that was really the whole sequence that put things in motion where it looked like first of all, the Steelers were definitely going to be able to win, and second of all, the Bills picked off another pass. That’s when it started.”
The Steelers beat the Browns, 28-12, holding Cleveland to just three points in the second half. Antonio Brown had a monster day, catching 10 balls in the first half and finishing with 13 catches for 187 yards and a touchdown. Ben Roethlisberger, meanwhile, was 24-of-36 for 349 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions, as the Steelers are back in the playoffs for the second straight season.
The Steelers (10-6) will play the Bengals (12-4) in Cincinnati this Saturday at 8:15 p.m. ET, and they may have to do so without DeAngelo Williams, who sprained his ankle in Sunday’s win over the Browns.
Can Pittsburgh win this weekend and advance in the playoffs?
“I think a lot of it hinges on the running backs,” Colony said. “Talking to (Steelers offensive lineman) David DeCastro after the game, he said it was just like deja vu. It’s like the end of last season when Le’Veon Bell was hurt in the last game of the year and the Steelers didn’t have him for the playoffs. They had 5-foot-2 Dri Archer out there at running back because he was the only guy they had who knew the plays.”
This year, Fitzgerald Toussaint knows the plays, but he had just 24 yards on 12 carries Sunday.
“DeAngelo Williams, you could make the case that he was the Steelers’ MVP this year just because of the way he was able to fill the void left by Le’Veon Bell,” Colony said. “The drop off from Williams to Toussaint or whoever, that’s huge. It’s going to be very difficult for them to make that up. It’s going to be very difficult for them to make that up.
“Now, having said that, Steelers at Cincinnati, is almost always a winning formula,” Colony continued, “but there are two things going on here. No. 1, the Bengals haven’t won a playoff game in over 25 years. So there’s that. But the Steelers haven’t won a postseason game since they beat the Jets in the AFC Championship Game in the 2010 season. So there’s a couple of postseason losing streaks going on here, so something is going to have to give on Saturday night.”