The Classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Who are the real Pittsburgh Steelers?

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 16: Members of the Pittsburgh Steelers defense reacts after an interception by Joe Haden #23 in the fourth quarter during the game against the New England Patriots at Heinz Field on December 16, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 16: Members of the Pittsburgh Steelers defense reacts after an interception by Joe Haden #23 in the fourth quarter during the game against the New England Patriots at Heinz Field on December 16, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Steelers are as back and forth as an NFL team comes, leaving suspension as to who the “real” Steelers happen to be.

As gothic fictional characters go, none better fits the persona of this Black ‘n Gold team this season as the infamous Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. That Robert Louis Stevenson psychological thriller saw a man haunted by his dual nature, caused unpredictable and perilous situations. This Steelers team has seen its share of good and evil play over the course of the season that has made the average fan look for the serum to keep them from losing it.

The fans drank the Kool-Aid of a six game wining streak, only to taste the bitter wine of a three game losing fiasco. StrapUp and crew had to breakout the “champipple” (Champagne and Ripple) and sip on that to make some sense of all this nonsense. After a few bottles of the “good stuff” and many trips to the latrine, we came to several obvious conclusions – the Steelers players just have to play better and also, we need to stop drinking this stuff.

In between inebriated sessions of confusion and rancor, we took a hard look back over the season at the schemes, coaching decisions and the work of the players. It was important to do a, “down the stretch” analysis to help shape the expectations going forward for the rest of the season.

After applying smelling salts to Zeke, he woke up to give his two cents that actually made a little sense. He said, “The common thread to the teams successes appears to be the collective high level of individual play in-conjunction with the schemes employed by the coaches on both sides of the ball.”

At the risk of being “Captain Obvious”, the numbers support his basic assessment, when the Steelers have multiple players putting up big numbers, they win. Big Ben, AB, JuJu, Vance, James or Jaylen on offense and T.J., Tuitt, Heyward, Hargrave, Haden on defense. That’s 50% of your players ballin out! Wow, that came from a guy that drank two quart bottles by himself and had his shirt on backwards before nodding back out.

If by chance these players don’t show out and affect the outcome, then you can count on unpredictable events happening that contribute to the loss of games. Such as the Boz having an off year kicking or the defense giving up leads in the fourth quarter and especially not being potent on offense with the arsenal of weapons at this teams disposal. Jekyll/Hyde/Jekyll/Hyde…

Johnnie Boy and Fat Pete were over in the corner arguing about the schemes being employed while simultaneously betting on who could flip coins onto the top of their heads from the top of their feet. Seriously, you can only do this when your drinking. They arrived at the conclusion that for the most part, the schemes with the adjustments were the reasons for the winning streak as well as for the losing streak.

Fat Pete slurred out, “The team seems to play to their strength when the schemes are employed consistently to the weaknesses of the other team. But when the schemes are not effective and no adjustments are implemented, the results are predictable.”

Wow, I’m really impressed now, these boys know more about football in these “I cant drive myself home” conditions then in their sober states. After Johnnie Boy managed to flip himself to the ground in the coin game, he looked up at me with his beet red eyes and said, “You can scheme all you want, but the coaches have got to call a good game. I can put coaching at the top of that list because they have to stay in the other coaches playbook, you know when you are out-coached, period.”

Dude had a point, staying ahead of the game while your in the game can help you control outcomes, I just wanted him to stop looking up at me, he looked like Mr. Hyde.

The “Evil Empire” invaded the Ketchup Bottle this past Sunday lead by the overbearing “Darth Belicheat,” Tom C3P0 and the minions. It was widely reported of the imminent demise of the Black ‘n Gold season because Mr. Hyde had thrown them into a three game funk previously. That was some evil, ugly ball and had the stadium surrounded by fans with pitchforks and torches.

They wanted everybody’s hide (pardon the intended pun) , including the equipment boy who brought the wrong cleats to the Raiders game. But through some soul searching, internal team rallying via “Gen. Patton like speeches” and burning the late night oil strategy sessions; the Black ‘n Gold came out with a plan. The coaching was superb and one step ahead, the scheme on both sides of the ball were elite and multiple players played high level football.

Five wide out sets gave Big Ben multiple options in the passing game and Jaylene Samuels ran the new counter toss play to perfection. Dude had never ran that much in a game before but found his comfort level in the new scheme.

The schemes had the Patriots outmatched and only because of a few bad throws, the score would of been higher. But the defense, oh my, the “D” was lit! They really held them to three points and it was only because of a gift touchdown that they managed ten points for the entire game.

The “Butler” finally did it, that is Defensive Coordinator Keith Butler devised and disguised schemes that put pressure on Tom C3P0 while still protecting the secondary. He knew when to put double teams on their best weapons and trusted his corners on the outside in man coverage. The defensive line stunted, ran twists and blitzes that made Tom C3P0 constantly throw off of his back foot.

After the game, a lot of reporters were down on him saying he is in decline but yet, the week before he put up over thirty points. Brilliant game plan and Dr. Jekyll kicked ol’ Mr. Hyde to the curb that day so that he can get tuned up for this next challenge.

The New Orleans Saints pose just as big of a challenge as burying the Patriots ghost of Christmas past. It is a road game against the team with the best record in the league with just as many weapons and as much at stake regarding playoff seedings. The Saints defense is tough against the run and QB Drew Brees is a legend in his own time.

It is going to take Mr. and Mrs. Hyde to show up for this game to give our boys a fighting chance. The teams rallying cry is, “Who Dat” which sounds whacked on so many fronts, but it works for them. Michael Thomas is a stud wide receiver and Brees favorite target.

Coach Sean Payton is recognized as one of the best innovative minds in football and has an impeccable record. He is lauded by his peers and his teams are always in contention for high playoff seedings. The Black n Gold need a repeat performance, but only better considering the division is not locked up yet. Lets hope that the last game is the beginning of a successful stretch run into and through the playoffs to the ultimate goal…Lombardi number 7!

Next. 5 players to watch against the Saints. dark

StrapUp says, “Until next time, Steeler Nation you know what it is, everything Black n Gold”