Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Inconsistent Steelers Keep Us Guessing

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Inconsistent Steelers Keep Us Guessing

Article excerpt

Fourteen games in, and I still have no idea what these Steelers are all about.

Are they a Super Bowl contender?

Sure, I'll buy that. It was only a month ago I was calling this the best Steelers team since 2010. There's talent all over the place. Six players were legitimately named to the Pro Bowl - only the Los Angeles Chargers had more - and at least four others (T.J. Watt, Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster, Ramon Foster, Joe Haden) had a strong case.

Or are they an overrated, second-place, nine-win disappointment that misses the playoffs altogether?

Yes, that remains a possibility - and if it happens, the Steelers will look back on the ridiculous tie in Cleveland and the preposterous loss in Oakland as their ruination.

If the kicker had simply done his job in Cleveland and the braintrust hadn't arrogantly believed it could win in Oakland without Ben Roethlisberger (or if the kicker had done his job), the Steelers could be 10-4 right now.

They probably should be 10-4 right now and fighting for a first-round bye.

"We are good enough to (have done) that, but we put ourselves in this situation, so we just have to deal with it a little bit," Foster said. "Sometimes, a little adversity is good for you, as long as you accept the challenge and do right by it."

Foster is correct on this count: You cannot live in your regrets.

Then again, if you sniff hard enough, you can still smell that tie in Cleveland. The Steelers led Hue Jackson's Browns by two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and somehow did not win. They let Tyrod Taylor beat them.

Taylor, you'll recall, went 15 of 40 that day. Chris Boswell had a chance to win it in overtime but missed a 42-yard field goal. He remains the Steelers kicker, even though he has missed 12 kicks and is coming off a game in which his errant chip shot was the reason Tom Brady still had a chance at the end.

Usually, the Steelers are good for one horrendous road game against a radically inferior opponent. …

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