Dec 16, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) during the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Sunday was rough. Really Rough. Between the awkward play calling and the very apparent disconnect that has emerged between Ben Roethlisberger and Todd Hailey, the defense’s lack of forced turnovers and the overall lack of consistency with this team, it’s fair to say the 2012 Steelers are average. It’s really hard to type that without cringing a little.
But just because the team is average doesn’t mean they can’t at least make the playoffs. Thanks to the lack of even average teams within the AFC this season, a win over the Bengals and a win over the Browns in the next two weeks ensures that the Black and Gold enter the playoffs as the sixth seed at nine and seven.
Does anyone expect Pittsburgh to be able to compete with New England or Denver on the road in that potential matchup? Of course. But the final outcome should of those potential games should send the Steelers home after the holidays. However, getting into those games is anything but settled but certainly doable.
First and foremost, both of these games are at home. Aside from the San Diego debacle, the team has played much more complete football at home as opposed to the road. (If the Steelers hold on special teams against Baltimore, they win that game even WITH Byron Leftwich taking snaps. Just sayin.) Therefore, I think it’s safe to say we can expect a good performance this Sunday against the Bungles. Secondly, the Steelers are taking on a decidedly average team this week in those Bungles. While they have taken care business of late, this is a team that lost four straight earlier this year. I am in no way saying Cincinnati is a blow off opponent but they, like the Steelers, are average.
This is the Steeler’s season right here. They lose, they go home for the offseason. Win, play another week against a feisty Browns team at home (that I’ll be covering for WJET in Erie so in the name of journalistic integrity I’ll be decidedly anti-biased that week) for the right to play on. It’s not a good situation to be in but one that the team has played themselves into. I really don’t like their odds after Cleveland but hey, let’s just see what happens.