Pittsburgh isn’t going to the Super Bowl


Max Christopher, Writer

(Published Dec. 22, 2020)

     It’s a great time to be a Steelers’ fan.  With an 11-2 record and the best start in franchise history since the 7-0 run in 1978, there’s a lot to be excited about.  But as a lifelong Pittsburgh resident and casual football fan, I have just one thing to say: the hype isn’t warranted.

     “Blasphemy!”  I know.  But the Steelers’ season hasn’t been anything that special.  And if the past three games are any indication, there won’t be too much to see in the postseason.  While they may be division champs, the chances of “going all the way” this year seems slim to none.  Sloppy offense and a severe lack of deep passing is culminating into what will be just another season in the books.

     Before delving any deeper, I would like to preface that the Steelers have undoubtedly had a great go of it.  On top of the 11-0 start, a historic chapter in the Steelers’ legacy, the team is still second in the AFC and has averaged 26.8 points a game.  With that being said, they aren’t all that this year.

     The biggest offender of this season would have to be Roethlisberger.  While he’s been having a solid season, racking up 3,292 passing yards, his lack of depth was apparent in weeks 13 and 14; across the two week span, he completed only 60 percent of his passes (down from 66 percent) and threw 3 interceptions. While this may seem nitpicky, Ben himself has come out and directly said, “I’m not playing good enough football for us to win.”

     After coming off an elbow injury, though, Roethlisberger is hardly the only person to blame; he isn’t getting any help from the rest of the offense.  The Steelers’ receivers dropped 7 passes against Washington, the most of any game in the past 15 years.  Diontae Johnson is currently leading the league in dropped passes for the season, coming in at 9.  Until the receivers can get the butter off their hands, there’s not much the six-time Pro Bowler can do.

     Statistics and analysis aside, from the perspective of someone who’s never been deeply ingrained in the “Steeler Nation” culture, this season doesn’t seem all too spectacular.  Less-than-fantastic second halves and a lack of urgency makes it abundantly clear that the long discussed Pittsburgh-Kansas City battle will handily be won by Mahomes’ squad.

     On top of all of this, it’s not like we haven’t seen a winning season these past few years.  The consensus from those who haven’t watched any games and just seem to ride the hype train as it comes and goes is that “the Steelers are bad,” supposedly making this year more special than all the others.  For the past five years, the Steelers have gone 10-6, 11-5, 13-3, 9-6-1, and 8-8.  These are hardly records to scoff at.

     As someone who is not an avid football enthusiast, the Steelers winning bout seems like just a footnote, something that won’t be discussed among fans even after another game or two.  Rabid fans have already turned their backs on the Black and Gold after only two losses, with only three regular season games left.

     This upcoming game against the 10-4 Colts on Sunday Dec. 27 may be another indicator of where this season is headed, but only time and results will tell.  All we can do now is wave around that Terrible Towel and rock the black and gold.