The 2014 Pittsburgh Steelers: Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

What is going on with this Pittsburgh Steelers team? I think it’d be hard to find a single Steelers fan that doesn’t have high blood pressure due to the inconsistency the Steel Curtain has shown this season. This is a team that struggled with the Jacksonville Jaguars and were able to pull out an 8 point win in a game which the Jags had multiple opportunities to capitalize on and failed. This same team had to muster out a very tough season opening battle against the Browns at home. Unfortunately, 6 weeks later they were embarrassed in Cleveland 31-10. This was a game in which they were just simply outplayed on both sides of the ball. Each team committed a turnover but the Browns were able to provide a more than productive offense against the usually tough black and yellow defense and Big Ben was never able to find a rhythm. Let’s also not forget the spanking that division foe Baltimore laid on them on their way to a 26-6 victory and then a loss at home against the woefully awful Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Relax friends and fellow alumni, this isn’t a Pittsburgh bashing article. The Steelers have only lost 3 games but If you look at those losses mentioned above and the Jaguars game they struggled to win wouldn’t you think it’s safe to assume that this team just isn’t good? Wrong. This team has been amazingly inconsistent but it’s what shows in their wins that should have other teams nervous. Before this week the Steelers hadn’t won two straight games further showing their inconsistency. As I mentioned before the Browns win week 1 was a tough win to pull out but they showed resilience. This game should’ve been over at halftime when they held a 27-3 lead. The Browns found a way to pick and pick away and make it interesting but the game winning field goal as time expired sealed it. The next victory Pittsburgh recorded was when they ran into Carolina and TROUNCED that Panthers squad. Now before anyone tries to criticize this win, being it that we’ve come to find out Carolina isn’t good, this Carolina team was 2-0 with a victory against a brand new Tampa Bay team in week 1 that hadn’t completely fallen apart yet, and a now very good Detroit Lions team that they beat bad. This victory deserves credit and alot of it given the situation. The Steelers had Le’Veon Bell and LeGarette Blount both run for over 100 yards showing a potential two headed running back monster that could emerge. A victory against the Texans was won almost primarily in the 2nd quarter with the ridiculous momentum swing that took place when the Steelers scored 21 points within the final 2 minutes of the half. Then we have yesterday and the record setting 522 yard, 6 TD performance Big Ben put on in Pittsburgh. This Colts team was widely considered a top 3 NFL team. The Colts offense was the best in the league by far and coming into week 8 guess who led the league in passing yard, yup, Andrew Luck. The Colts defense had only allowed more than 28 points twice in 7 games and both came in tough losses. My point here is that many NFL teams would’ve been intimidated, Pittsburgh was not. This team came in prepared and ready to make a statement and their offense did just that, especially Antonio Brown being the freak athlete that he is. Even William Gay was playing good! William Gay never plays good!

In each of Pittsburgh’s losses this week Le’Veon Bell hasn’t run the ball more than 20 times while Ben has thrown 37+ times in each of those contests. When you’re down big in the 2nd quarter you don’t need to go straight to a “passing comeback” mentality. There is still plenty of game left to stick to your balanced offense. Le’Veon Bell is 3rd in the NFL in rushing, allow him to help carry this team and feed him the ball. Heath Miller when healthy brings a Jason Witten like feel to this offense. He’s not fast but he’s big, strong, rarely drops passes and will fight until the end on every single play. The Steelers defense is very suspect to me but it’s the Steelers defense. At any point they can explode into a turnover machine and for them to be the contending team I think they can be, that needs to happen. Antonio Brown is something else. He’s led the team in receiving every week and get this, he only has ONE game this season with less than 90 receiving yards. That game he put up 84. He ranks 2nd in the league in receiving yards by a minimal 14 yards. The league leader is T.Y. Hilton via Andrew Luck whom Big Ben and Brown were able to outshine this week. Brown has also found the end zone 7 times this season and also has an additional passing touchdown. This kid can do it all. As for Ben, we’ve seen what he can do. He infuriates Steelers fans regularly by holding onto the ball too long. The bottom line is that Big Ben is a playmaker, he’s a team player and he’s willing to lay his body on the line for this team. Big Ben never gets the credit he deserves for being a consistently good and relevant QB in this league and he may just have another run left in him. Mike Tomlin is Mike Tomlin, he’s a phenomenal coach, a great player coach, and man that dude has the crispiest hairline in all of the NFL.

The rest of the schedule for the Steelers is very favorable. They have to visit 3 very bad teams in the Falcons, Jets, and Titans. They also get to avoid tough road games with Kansas City & New Orleans visiting western PA. This Steelers team runs on momentum, when they’re hot they’re almost unstoppable. Heinz Field is never a place you want to allow them to gain momentum. Once the towels start to wave and Renegade begins to blare across the stadium it’s already too late.

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