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December 7, 2009

PLAYOFFS ? ! ? ! ?  DON'T TALK ABOUT PLAYOFFS !

The team is what's wrong with the Steelers.  They won the Super Bowl.  They know it.  Ben's legal issues aren't an issue.  It's the team.  It's the coach.  This is a necessary stepping stone in the legacy that is being built by Mike Tomlin.  That's why this is happening; it's necessary.  To be tested, to be sharpened and hardened, Steel needs to go through the fire to come out stronger. 

The team is what's wrong.  They need to return to the basics.  That might include watching January games.  The Steelers can reach 10-6 but they are the same team that has laid eggs in 2009 and the playoffs would probably include one more egg.  Missing the playoffs might be what this team needs.  History, fans, history; 2002 - 10-5-1, 2003 - 6-10, 2004 - 15-1, 2005 - Super Bowl Champs, 2006 - Super Bowl Hangover, 2007 - Tomlin's Inaugural year, 2008 - Super Bowl Champs, 2009 - - ? ? ?   Is 2009 a hangover, or can this team end at 10-6?  In 2004 the team was so upset with themselves going 6-10 the year before that they unleashed hell.  In 2009 we're seeing one of two things; either a hangover, or a battle tested, tooling-up year, a la 2003 or 2007.  Both teams responded well after those years.  I think this will make the 2009 Steelers even stronger than the 2008 Steelers and certainly stronger than the 2009 Steelers displayed.

If the Steelers can't play sound football in four wins to close the season I hope they do not go to the playoffs.  I want to feel wrath of Defense and see consistency.  I want to see the offense more balanced and see equal success rushing as passing the football and I want to see it consistently. 

Let's say the Steelers win their last four games by a combined 12 points; all close ones.  What do you think would happen in the playoffs?  They'd lose?  No.  They'd be killed.  I want to see this team bury some opponents.  I want to see the Steelers beat the Ravens soundly, or at least convincingly. 

Do you want the Steelers to back into the playoffs and get there on the laurels of other's failures?  I do not want to see the Steelers in the playoffs if they don't deserve it. 

" 'If the playoffs started today' " I always hear.  They don't.  Until each team has played sixteen games, the post season does not begin.  All sixteen need played in order to determine who all deserves to go of course.  If they DID start today the Steelers would be out of it.  That's because they deserve, at this moment, to be out of it.  If I see the Steelers can prove over the last four weeks that they can beat teams a la 2005 and 2008 and they really play with intensity for 60 minutes and STOP breaking down defensively, relinquishing leads, then they will have earned and deserve the right to go to the playoffs. 

I don't see one team going toward the playoffs right now that I'm confident the Steelers would beat.  Not one.  I don't want all the other teams to play worse than the Steelers and for the Steelers to be the lesser of the evils.  This is the AFC.  It's the better conference in the NFL.  Period. 

The Steelers are supposed to be contenders who don't relinquish leads in the fourth quarter.  Not this version we are seeing, are the Steelers supposed to be!  The offense isn't the Patriots, or the Fouts Chargers or the Marino Dolphins or even the 2008 Steelers; the Steelers might have some good fantasy players but that is all that non-sense is; fantasy.  In reality they aren't lighting up the scoreboard.  They aren't lighting up the win column.  The Steelers are a team who is hot and cold, who lowers its play to the level of the competition and they are a Defense that can't finish off games.  The lack of Polamalu is one facet of what is wrong.  It's not the entire, all encompassing solution to the problem, getting back Troy.  Who would have ever thought the DEFENSE would be the issue and not the O line?  O line's fine!  O line's good!  The Defense.....isn't.

 

  

 

 

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