There’s a 1960s song by The Foundations that I absolutely love called “Build Me Up Buttercup,” and the beginning of the chorus goes as follows: “Why do you build me up, build me up buttercup, baby, just to let me down?”
Being a fan of the tune isn’t new for me, but as of recently, I haven’t been able to shake the feeling of a connection building between it and me—and it’s all because I am also a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Just last week, I couldn’t get enough of my guys and the momentum they were garnering with their back-to-back wins over the Titans and Packers; the pair of victories had them at 6-3, and with their upcoming foes being the Cleveland Browns, my confidence in them was all the more inflamed.
Not only had Cleveland already succumbed to the wrath of Pittsburgh once this season, but it had just lost starting QB Deshaun Watson to a year-ending surgery. With circumstances that comfortable, what could possibly go wrong? Well, when remembering that the abomination that is the Steelers offense still exists, the answer becomes quite clear: Everything.
I hate to have to say that, as even with the offense still being far from anything objectively admirable overall, it did appear to be at least gradually ascending by the numbers. I even made a point of acknowledging the fact that Tennessee and Green Bay are no adequate representations of most upcoming foes on Pittsburgh’s schedule.
With that much bracing for a drop in mind, me still being so disappointed and, quite frankly, livid at the circus we saw on Sunday should speak deafening volumes.
So just how bad was the Steelers offense on Sunday?
For those who are not aware of the details surrounding Pittsburgh’s latest offensive showing (or lack thereof), just know it failed to outscore a Browns offense that: Put up just 13 points, was led by a rookie QB with no touchdowns, and next-to-no starting experience to his name, averaged just 3.5 yards per play, suffered a turnover, and could only strike paint in one of its three trips to the red zone.
That degree of failure is downright pathetic regardless of how inconsistent the Steelers have been offensively, and knowing that it has robbed the team of obtaining a perfect record in divisional play (which was becoming increasingly plausible) makes it sting all the more.
But, to Pittsburgh’s credit, it is seemingly just as fed up with the inexcusable struggles as we are, doing the unthinkable by finally pulling the plug on disgraced offensive coordinator Matt Canada. According to NFL insider Adam Schefter, the move marks the iconic franchise’s first mid-season coaching change since 1941.
Now is this going to be the fix-all that folks have always hyped it up to be? Probably not, at least not immediately. However, if making the move now means that displays like the one we just saw cease to occur, I’m sure that I’m not alone in my willingness to take such a risk.
Also, on a more positive note, the first few post-Canada opponents are about as forgiving of a bunch as an uneasy yinzer could ask for, as the Steelers travel to Cincinnati to face the Bengals (who, while intense rivals, are the last-place AFC North squad today and missing star quarterback Joe Burrow) before hosting both the Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots (each who have just two wins so far this season).
Especially with that pair of non-divisional home games, I’d like to think that there is some room for error as Pittsburgh attempts to adjust to the change of pace that its offense is bound to go through. Hopefully, by the time those meetings have come and gone, the Steelers will have established a more concrete idea of what they’re going to look like on that side of the ball going forward—and for the better.