First Round Bye On Steelers Christmas List

Lost in my disgust over Sunday’s disappointing performance against the vastly overrated New York Jets is the news the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to the playoffs.   Yes, Virginia, there is a post-season.  And the Black and Gold have clinched a berth.  Sure it’s only a Wild Card but would you rather be the Chargers?

Of course, the Steelers can upgrade their ticket considerably over the next couple weeks.  The second overall seed and first round bye are both still well within reach with bottom-feeders Cleveland and Carolina on the schedule.  Given the number of injuries this team has suffered, I believe a bye is necessary if we intend to make any noise in the post-season.  Most notably is Troy Polamalu, who according to various reports is going to miss the rest of the regular season.

Looking around the AFC, the Colts and Jags both have six losses.  The Chiefs only have five losses but all are in the AFC.  The Steelers conference record is 8-3 with only one conference game left to play.  So unless the Steelers completely crap out the rest of the season, it wouldn’t appear any of those teams are in the hunt for the second seed.

The Baltimore Ravens appear to be the only obstacle standing between us and that bye.  The Ratbirds final two opponents are the Browns and Bengals.  I don’t foresee Cleveland putting up much of a fight but the Bengwads may show one fleeting moment of pride and try to send long time coach Marvin Lewis out a winner.  Remember how the Steelers, mired in a miserable post-Super Bowl funk, ruined Cincy’s playoff chances the final week of 2006 with a win in Bill Cowher‘s swan song as head coach?

Speaking of Cowher, rumors are swirling our beloved former leader is finally ready to come out of retirement. His wish list?  The Giants, Dolphins, or Texans.  All three teams make sense for different reasons and I’ll have more thoughts about his new situation once he makes a decision.  While I certainly hope he succeeds wherever he goes (unless, of course, he plays the Steelers), I need to point out neither Jimmy Johnson, Bill Parcells, nor Mike Holmgren have won a Super Bowl since leaving their original teams.  It’s never the same the second time around.

What’s the saying about be careful what you wish for?

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