A Valiant Comeback Falls Short: Steelers Lose to Broncos in AFC Wild Card


I’m not going to sit here and recap the game for you. I am sure there will be plenty of news outlets that will do that for you if you missed the game. This is to show you that so much more happened today. More than just a playoff loss. More than blown coverage. There is hope here.  Or as my Twitter friend @MylesPulse put it: “Polish that terd, Adam.”

When everyone at the Steeler bar I go to got down, upset, fed up…I told them to believe. I’m so happy I approached watching this game with that attitude because the Steelers showed me today, as they’ve showed me so many times before, that there is always reason to believe. Yes, in a crazy turn of events, Ike blew his coverage again and was beat for a TD from the first play from scrimmage in Overtime. I don’t know how that happens, and I’m not going to sit here and try to break it down. “Ike thought he had safety help,” “They were set up to defend the run” etc. Yes, those things might be true, but what is truer to me is that our boys went out there and played their asses off missing a boatload of guys and even more playing with injuries, and left it all out on the field.

Denver played better football. They had a great game plan and Tebow played a hell of a game. That is why we lost this game. That’s the only reason. It probably felt like it was destiny to lose while our boys were sitting in the locker room at half, but you know what? They got up, and showed us why we love them so much. They didn’t give up. I saw my QB with a broken thumb and a high ankle sprain run the ball in to oncoming traffic just to get a yard. I saw him scramble right and throw the most beautiful pass across his body to Jerricho Cotchery in the end zone. I saw Isaac Redman have the game of his life and prove everything I said in last Friday’s article was complete hogwash.

There is a future here.

12-4 is nothing to scoff at. It is not Bruce Arians’ fault our offense couldn’t execute. It is not Dick Lebeau’s fault Ike and Willy Gay didn’t play very good football. Don’t be irrational. We lost. It was a hell of a game, and gave me a whole lot to be excited about. We get Pouncey and Woodley back to 100%. Gilbert will be another year older and another year better. Manny Sanders and Antonio Brown are looking like they could be our Swann and Stallworth.  Ben will be healthy. There won’t be a shortened pre-season.

OK maybe now I’m polishing a terd. I’m winging it here, bare with me.

I feel good. I feel good about being the guy at the bar that believed we could come back. I believed in Suisham, I believed in Big Ben and everyone else on the team, and we came so close to coming back I could hardly believe it. The Steelers fan sitting behind me sarcastically clapping every time Tewbow converted a pass just made me want to boil over. Is this how you want to be? Really?: “Real good, guys. Way to go. Awesome. Just let him throw it. This is just our luck. Our season in a nutshell.”

Seriously, how does this guy live with himself? Can you imagine being so dark on life. THERE WERE 2 and a 1/2 QUARTERS OF FOOTBALL LEFT!


They believe in Denver. They believed in the St Louis Cardinals this year too. I just can’t live any other way. I have to believe, and my team has earned that from their fans.

I believe: The Steelers will bounce back next year and win the division earning a first round bye. Isaac Redman will be a break-out star at running back. Antonio Brown, Emmanual Sanders, and Mike Wallace will be widely respected as the most dangerous WR core in football. Big Ben will have the best statistical season of his career. James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley, Troy and others will be healthy and stay healthy. Pouncey will not have to sit another playoff game because of a high ankle sprain.

How could I possibly believe all of those things? How could I not? Can you imagine how dangerous we could be at full strength?

My eyes get wide with anticipation.

So, a valiant comeback fell short. Credit to the Denver Broncos and the Mile High Miracle, Tim Tebow. They played a hell of a game and deserve all the credit for the win. Am I disappointed? Absolutely. Am I surprised? A Little. Am I angry? Absolutely not. One thing is for sure: They left it all out there. They played with heart and came up short. That is admirable all by itself.

So here’s to improving in the offseason and proving that we always belong “in the conversation.” As Bart Scott once said, CAN’T WAIT.

Follow me on Twitter at @AdamMeckler, I Tweet a lot.