The Pittsburgh Steelers are off to their worst start in 45 years, but veteran safety Ryan Clark is still confident in his team. On Tuesday, Clark predicted that his team will make the playoffs despite a 0-4 start. The captain scoffs at Pittsburgh's 1.2 percent chance to do so and points to the weaknesses of the AFC North, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
"I just believe we can win. That's just the bottom line," Clark said Tuesday. "I think we have the people in this room, the coaches (to win). Also, looking at our schedule, we're not playing world beaters, we're not playing gods. We're playing men."
"We're playing football teams that have vulnerabilities and teams I think we can beat," Clark said. "That's five division opponents left, so it's in our own hands. I think we can win those games, and I think we will."
Clark's confidence doesn't come without total merit. The 1976 Steelers started the season 1-4, but won their final nine games to finish 10-4 and make the playoffs. Pittsburgh was on a bye in Week 5 and face the New York Jets next Sunday. Clark says that his team needs to win that game and take it week by week from there.
It wouldn't be the first time the Steelers have overcome adversity and beat the odds, but a playoff appearance looks like a tall order in the resurgent AFC, given their problems on the offensive line, running game and an aging defense. Only three of their final 12 opponents on the schedule have a losing record at the moment.