PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – It is a bittersweet Monday for the Pittsburgh Steelers after losing 22-17 to the New York Jets Sunday afternoon.

Despite the loss, the Steelers have clinched a playoff berth, but they have their sights set on a first-round bye.

They won’t have much time to dwell on what could have been against the Jets, as they will play host to the Carolina Panthers Thursday night.

Head coach Mike Tomlin said that the Panthers are young on offense, but their younger bodies will give them the advantage on a short week.

Carolina is led by running back Jonathan Stewart, who has rushed for 668 yards and two touchdowns this season.

Jimmy Clausen has taken over the quarterback duties and has thrown for 1,304 yards with two touchdowns and seven interceptions in 11 games.

As for the injuries the Steelers are dealing with, there may be some good news coming.

Aaron Smith is being fitted for a shoulder brace, but there is no word on when he may return to the lineup.

Troy Polamalu could still miss the remainder of the regular season with an Achilles injury. He was to undergo a medical examination Monday.

Tomlin was not happy with how the Steelers qualified for the playoffs.

“It’s kind of like we crawled in on our bellies, but we have two weeks to make that all seem irrelevant,” Tomlin said.

You can watch Thursday’s game on KDKA-TV. Coverage will start at 7 p.m. with the McDonald’s Steelers Kickoff.

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