Would’ve, Could’ve, and Should’ve.
Those contractions perfectly illustrate the way that many of Pittsburgh’s players and coaches are feeling right now.
Looking back at their 2-6 start to the regular season, I am sure that the Steelers are wondering how they let things get so out of control during September and October.
Dropping the season opener ta Heinz Field to the currently 5-8 Tennessee Titans, now led by Ryan Fitzpatrick, was terrible enough. Then the loss of an extremely winnable game, it was tied 10-10 at halftime, the following week to the now division-leading Cincinnati Bengals dropped them to 0-2.
Two weeks later Pittsburgh’s valiant attempt at a comeback against the then 0-3 Minnesota Vikings in London fell short, and the team was mired in an 0-4 hole. Arguably the team’s worst loss during their 2-6 start happened five weeks later when the Terrelle Pryor-led Oakland Raiders eked out a 21-18 victory over the Steelers.
From piss-poor offensive line play, to injuries, to bad coaching decisions, to the insistence on utilizing a non-existent running game, to garbage play on special teams, to an an archaic Swiss cheese-like defensive scheme, etc., the Steelers dropped at least four extremely winnable contests early in the year.
A victory in one or even two of those games would have kept this team alive in terms of postseason contention. With the Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens sporting 7-6 records, Pittsburgh could have been right there with both teams had they ‘nutted up’ and found ways to emerge victorious in several instances in September and October.
Unfortunately for the Steelers, they dug their own graves during the first half of the season. The fact that their last two games meant so much from a postseason standpoint was in large part due to their early season bed crappings.
Granted, members of this team can show all of the fight and heart that they want to over the 2013 season’s final three weeks. I just hope that they are ready for a long winter of wondering:
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