Crushing defeat at the hands of Baltimore.
Defense pitches a shutout against Seattle.
Indy almost pulls off the upset.
Houston demolishes the Steeler Run D.
Everyone does their part dismantling the Titans.
If there's ever been a more schizophrenic 5 games in the last decade, I don't remember them. One week, they're written off, and the next, they're Super Bowl Contenders. Here are just a few things that I think are set in stone about this year.
1. The offensive line.
They are aptly named, as their play offends anybody who watches it. Ben Roethlisberger is apparently being punished by the cosmos for his sexcapades by getting plowed for three hours on national TV every Sunday. The running game has disappeared like Rashard Mendenhall's Twitter account. They're so bad that fans welcomed back Max Starks with fervent enthusiasm. Dear Lord.
2. The run defense.
Finally, after all these years, age is catching up to these guys. Aaron Smith, James Farrior, Casey Hampton...oh how we've loved you. We really have. Three of the most important Steelers of the 2000s. Just thinking about you makes me smile.
But unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. And that includes your careers. Let's see what Worilds, Hood and Heyward can do.
3. The running game.
When Jonathan Dwyer posts up the best rushing performance of the year (by 40 yards, no less). You have problems. Big ones.
1. The pass defense.
Just saying this gives me a headache. One of the best pass defenses in the league? Really? I'm not sure when Ike Taylor turned into Darrelle Revis, but nobody has thrown on Ike all year. The tandem of William Gay and Keenan Lewis have surprised everybody. You know what you get with Ryan Clark and Troy Polamalu. Seeing the run defense be as bad as it is compared to the pass makes me feel as if I'm living in some parallel universe. And then I realize that I'm still a hairy ginger, so that thought gets thwarted pretty fast.
2. The wide receivers.
Top to bottom, this may end up being the best receiving corps in Steelers history. VERY rarely do you hit on two receivers in the same draft, but Kevin Colbert appears to have done it with Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown. Throw in budding star Mike Wallace and everyone's favorite reality dance champion, and you've got unlimited weapons for Ben Roethlisberger. Considering that Wallace, Sanders and Hines Ward were all third round picks, and Antonio Brown was a sixth rounder, it's a remarkable testament to the due diligence of the Steelers front office.
3. Dan Sepulveda.
Shut up. I love the guy.
Given the ease of the schedule (I think at some point the Steelers play North Allegheny), I do think the Steelers are a playoff team.
But ask me again next week.