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The Pittsburgh Steelers. Pretenders or Contenders?

Updated: Mar 17, 2021

As you all surely know, the Pittsburgh Steelers were just defeated by the Washington Football team, falling to 11-1. Now, you may be asking yourself: how can an 11 and 1 team possibly be a pretender? They have lost 1 game the entire season. You must consider them a contender, how could you not? And to be completely honest, I would agree with this line of logic in most cases, but the Steelers have a special case for why they should be considered for pretender status. To start, let’s look at the first 12 weeks of their schedule.

Week 1: Giants

Week 2: Broncos

Week 3: Texans

Week 4: BYE

Week 5: Eagles

Week 6: Browns

Week 7: Titans

Week 8: Ravens

Week 9: Cowboys

Week 10: Bengals

Week 11: Jacksonville

Week 12: Baltimore

Now lets us remove all the games that the Steelers should have won if we were to consider them to be a good team at the very least. Once we do that, we are left with these 4 games.

Week 6: Browns

Week 7: Titans

Week 8: Ravens

Week 12: Ravens

Next, let’s go game by game and analyze what happened. First off we have the Browns who are 9 and 3. On the surface, this seems like a great accomplishment, beating a 9 and 3 team, but then you realize that the Browns did not have Nick Chubb. The reason this is important is that every time Nick Chubb is the Browns' leading rusher, they've won this season (with a record of 8-0). When Nick Chubb does not lead the Browns in rushing, they are 1-3. In short, when Nick Chubb is bad or injured, the Browns are bad. The latter was the case in the game with the Steelers, making this win not as impressive as it seems.

The very next week the Steelers played the Titans, and this game went down to the wire. It didn't seem like that was the way it was going to go, as entering into half the Steelers were up 24 to 7. At the end of the game, it was 27 to 24 Steelers. That's right, the Steelers only scored three points in the entire second half. That is not a good sign from the supposed juggernaut that is the Steelers. It would be one thing if the Titan’s defense was good, but it is ranked in the bottom half of the league for scoring defense, pass defense, and rush defense.

Then the very next week they beat the Ravens 28 to 24. Now, in my opinion, the Steelers defense deserves a lot of credit this game, as they held Lamar to his worst game of the season. However, at the end of the game, the Ravens still had a chance to win the game. If the Steelers did not score on one of those 2 interceptions then the Ravens most likely would have won. That's a scary thought. The Steelers, this juggernaut, could barely beat the Ravens during their worst game.

Finally, they faced the Ravens again, but these were no ordinary Ravens. These were the practice squad Ravens. This Raven’s team had countless players on the COVID 19 list, yet the Steelers were only able to barely squeak out a win. That’s weird, right?

You add the above with the fact that their only loss is against a team that isn’t even five hundred and you get a team that has a mighty fine case to warrant pretender status.

Until next time, PD Smash signing off.

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