last night (on national TV, I might add) the Steelers lost to the Cleveland Browns by a score of 13-6. That loss cemented an embarrassing trifecta. The Steelers have now lost to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Oakland Raiders, and the Cleveland Brown in the same season. I call that the “trifecta of shame”.
I’m really not even sure of what to think of the team anymore. Are they a really good team that has suffered due to the loss of two of their best players (Aaron Smith and Troy Polamalu)? Or are they a really bad team that has been exposed by some of the worst teams in the NFL?
I know that Troy’s absence is a tremendous blow to the team, but I don’t think it has any effect on their inability to protect their quarterback. I’ve gotten used to seeing Ben Roethlisberger get sacked, but watching him get sacked 8 times by one of the worst defenses in the NFL was painful.
I know that Aaron Smith’s absence has been a loss, but I don’t think that has caused the Steelers cornerbacks to be unable to get any interceptions this season. Can’t anybody back there catch the ball?
I know that Brett Keisel got hurt last night, and Hines Ward was playing with a leg injury, but did that cause the Steelers to use baffling play calling on offense? Why did they consistently utilize spread formations with an empty backfield on 3rd down, despite the fact that Cleveland was running a sackathon on Big Ben? Is Bruce Arians out of his mind?
Try as I might, I just can’t figure this team out. Why are they playing so poorly. These are the reigning Super Bowl champs, aren’t they?
While the team is not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs yet, their odds are exceedingly poor. In fact, your odds of getting bit by a vampire are far greater than the Steelers odds of making the playoffs. So we can all put the playoff dream to rest.
The rest of this season is now going to be about saving face. The team is going to have to look in the mirror and decide what type of team they really are. Do they have the ability to turn things around and end the season on a positive note, or are going to continue to look like one of the worst teams in the NFL?
Fans are already starting to talk about next year’s draft. Some are even suggesting that the Steelers should lose the rest of their games so that we can improve our draft position. I don’t agree with that suggestion. Instead, I’d like to see the team turn this thing around. I want them to beat Baltimore. And Green Bay. And Miami. I want to believe that this losing streak has just been a slump, and that the Steelers are really a good team with great potential for next season.
So now that the Steelers have successfully completed the “trifecta of shame”, Steeler Nation is left wondering if the REAL Steelers are the team that beat Denver and Minnesota? Or are the REAL Steelers the team that lost to Cleveland, Oakland, and Kansas City?
Will the real Steelers please stand up?
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