The hardest core Bucs fans (are there any or are they really bored Steelers fans?) will be disappointed at a 1st-round-and-out playoff run, assuming it goes that way as I'd guess it will. But, most reasonable Pittsburghians will see it as you say.
I'm surprised that you and many here think it such a steep hill for us to overtake the Cards for the division. While I realiize it's far from certain we'll do that, I think it very realistic.
- We're only 1 game back with a win versus the Cubbies tonight
- We have our next 9 against sub .500 teams
- While we will play 6 against the Bucs, they may be reeling by the time we get to PNC and the Rockies and Nats represent at least as big a threat to the Cards.
I'd put our odds at winning the division at least at 40%. So not probable but very realistic an expectation to have.