Every Yinzer down in The ‘Burgh liked the playoffs a lot, but the Steelers offense, who played on Heinz Field – did not. The offense had problems scoring points – the whole NFL season. Now, please don’t ask why; no one quite knows the reason. It could be, perhaps, that their shoes were too tight. Or it could be that their heads weren’t screwed on just right. But I think that the most likely reason of all… may have been that they were undisciplined. But, whatever the reason, their heads or their shoes, they stood there on the Eve of Christmas Eve having the blues. Staring down from the field, with sour grinchy frowns, at the Cincy Bengals celebrating a playoff birth in The Burgh, their own town.
The Steelers offense has had a rather up and down season. Just when it seemed they were getting over themselves early in the season, Ben Roethlisberger was out for three weeks with a shoulder and rib injury for some reason. Just when Big Ben returns to save their playoff hopes, Big Ben and the rest of the offense started playing like big fat stinky dopes (eat your heart out Dr. Seuss).
The world didn’t end on Friday into Saturday, but the season ended this weekend for the Stillers. The continued end of season implosion continued on Sunday when they faced off against the 6th seeded Cincy Bungles. The stats were there as usual in a loss that has been so characteristic of this season. The Steelers had more yards, more TOP, fewer penalties, they held the Bengal offense to only 6 points, and they even broke even on the turnover battle. Yet, as the clock struck :00 for our heroes, they were standing on the wrong side of the W/L column and ultimately will be standing in their living rooms when Wild Card weekend takes place in a couple weeks. Same statistically dominating game, same outcome – a loss.
The Steelers defense played their keisters off today. They held the Bengals to 6 points on offense and created four… yes count’em FOUR turnovers. That’s the first time that has happened since Week 12 of last season. The defense kept the Bengal offense at bay, yet the Steelers could not get a single point from those four turnovers. Not even a single field goal. Even Shaun ‘Dependable’ Suisham missed two himself (although the last miss should have never even taken place no thanks to Mike Tomlin’s awful game management). The defense, like so many times this season showed why they are number one in so many ways. But the offense, like so many times this season stalled out early, failed to convert when the opportunities were there, and The Savior of the 2012 Season threw back to back game ending interceptions… can’t really blame the play calling this time can you Ben?
The offense today stole the playoffs away from the rest of the Steelers and Steeler Nation, and unlike The Grinch, won’t be bringing any of it back in time. On the 40th Anniversary of the Immaculate Reception, the Steelers laid in egg in trying produce their own Christmas miracle this Sunday. Players, coaching, and head coach – blame them all. The writing was on the wall since Week 6. The Steelers have a ways to go before they get over themselves, and it wasn’t going to happen during this season.
The next 31 weeks (that’s right around when training camp should start) will be jam packed with evaluation, speculation, free agency, the draft and much more. Stay tuned and keep it here with NPC as we ramp up our coverage and bring you our insight to what the 2013 season has in store for the Steelers and Steeler Nation.
So while things look glum right now, remember what time of year it is….
Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer. Cheer to all Yinzers far and near. Christmas Day is in our grasp, so long as we have hands to clasp. Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we. Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart, and hand in hand.