Hopes should not be high entering Steelers wild card game

Pittsburgh Steelers cornerbacks Joe Haden (23) and Ahkello Witherspoon (25).
Pittsburgh Steelers cornerbacks Joe Haden (23) and Ahkello Witherspoon (25). /

All Steelers fans are elated that their team has made the NFL playoffs, but expecting anything more than a 1st-round exit feels a tad delusional.

Last weekend, every single Pittsburgh Steelers fan wanted one thing and one thing only: a playoff berth. After all, what better way to send out a legendary quarterback like their very own Ben Roethlisberger?

However, while Steelers fans have both passion and loyalty in spades, they also have one fatal flaw, and that is their lack of realism. In this latest installment of such, they appear to be incapable of recognizing the Kansas City Chiefs.

On Sunday night, the Chiefs will be welcoming the Steelers into Arrowhead Stadium to kick off the latter’s last postseason run with Roethlisberger. If that meeting is anything like their last one (from three weeks prior), it won’t be overly pretty.

Back in December, Pittsburgh fans saw their boys get walloped for four quarters in what handed KC a 36-10 AFC victory. By point differential, it was the Steelers 2nd-largest loss of the season by a wide margin, behind only their 41-10 beatdown in Cincinnati.

But through it all, there are still Pittsburgh fanatics declaring that the Steelers will find a way to pull a complete 180 this time around, pulling off a stunning upset over the No. 2 team in the AFC bracket.

That surely sounds blasphemous coming from a pro-Steelers writer, but someone has to address how ridiculous that is.

Think about it: the Steelers are an easy team to beat. Maybe not from a physicality standpoint, but merely in regards to who’s better head-to-toe? Pittsburgh will most likely not stand a chance. There’s a reason that they were the only team in either bracket to need the stars to align for a playoff appearance, after all.

Offensively, Pittsburgh is a mess; they have an old QB who is unreliable in throwing deep, combined with weak line play. All an opposing defense needs to do is find a way to stop Najee Harris on the running game, and Kansas City certainly has the ability to do that.

On the defensive side of things, there is nothing unmanageable. However, the Chiefs have one of the higher-powered offenses in the league, with Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill all under offensive mastermind Andy Reid.

One simply has to ask him/herself which will happen first: KC finds an answer for a rookie RB, or Pittsburgh finds an answer for multiple veteran playmakers?

Must Read. Could Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster suit up for the playoffs?. light

Regardless of what goes down Sunday night, though, the Steelers were very fortunate to make the playoffs one last time for Big Ben’s career. All they can do is go out there and give it their all, and no one should expect anything less.