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Steelers need help from Rex Ryan and Bills

BALTIMORE -- Those Bills, man, they are athletic. Have you seen those pass-coverage skills? Truly elite. So is Rex Ryan, for that matter. What a dynamic coach. Good for the game. The blitz chemist will concoct a potent formula for those Jets, no doubt. We’ve always admired Ryan’s acumen from his Baltimore days.

These could be the musings from the Pittsburgh Steelers' South Side facility this week. The Steelers should do their part against the Browns. They need the Bills to do theirs.

It’s simple: A Steelers win plus a Bills win equals a playoff berth.

Here’s a message for Ryan, courtesy of Antonio Brown: “It’s the NFL. You can’t take any team for granted."

Brown found this out Sunday when the 10-loss Ravens led the whole way in a 20-17 victory over the Steelers, who relinquished AFC wild card control to the Jets.

Here’s what the Steelers need from themselves and Ryan this week. This is strictly from the Steelers’ perspective.

“Obviously we need help,” defensive end Cam Heyward said.

A big first-half score in Cleveland: The modern NFL player probably checks his phone at least 100 times per day. Walk around an NFL locker room during media access and at least 30 percent of the room will be scanning their iPhone 6s.

Perhaps a few Jets players will check NFL scores in their locker room in Buffalo. If their game is close and the Steelers have a big halftime lead in Cleveland, it might have an effect.

It’s like a golfer who hears the crowd roar when a co-leader sinks a birdie on the hole in front of him.

Baltimore Rex 2.0: Those old Ravens defenses applied timely pressure on the quarterback and let the secondary do the rest. This No. 23 pass defense nonsense from the 2015 Bills won’t do. The Bills can run the ball, this we know. But they've struggled in pass defense, which is odd for a Ryan-coached team.

The Eric Decker-Brandon Marshall combo has been lethal for the Jets. If the Bills can somehow force Ryan Fitzpatrick to revert back to his late-2011 Bills days, they’ll have a chance.

A Mike Vick call to Tyrod Taylor: From one Virginia Tech Hokie to another, Vick can inspire the Bills quarterback to have his best performance yet. Run for 100 like I used to. Throw deep. Go to Sammy Watkins. Be great.

The last time the Bills played the Jets, Watkins spun around Darrelle Revis a few times but Buffalo couldn’t capitalize. The Steelers hope that changes this time around.