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Building A Roof Beneath A Falling Sky

The sky is falling, or so I’ve heard. The Pittsburgh Steelers lost to a team on the road with a really bad record and are now only 6-4 after 10 games played. All is surely lost.

Who knows, maybe it really is, or will be, when the video time capsule of the 2014 season goes into production. Surely it’ll be appropriated titled to address the inevitably abysmal stretch of games the Steelers are just getting started on following a historic offensive outburst during a three-game homestand.

Of course, Pittsburgh is only a game back from the division lead with six games left to play. The Steelers are currently the seventh seed in the playoff chase, and have games against both teams currently holding the two wildcard spots on top for later this season.

They still have six more games to play. That can be taken in very different ways depending on whether or not you skew toward optimism or pessimism.

Six games to move up and right the ship, getting the house in order and ramping up for a playoff push. Six games to fail harder than they’ve already failed, most recently losing to the previously 1-8 New York Jets.

The truth will probably be somewhere in the middle. The season is far from over, and nobody can predict exactly what happening. But I still don’t see the sky coming down on me. Looks to me it’s still right where it’s always been as I look from out under my roof.

Of course, the Steelers are blessed and cursed to have such a loyal and passionate, yet demanding and critical fan base. It’s unacceptable to them that they haven’t had a winning season or a playoff appearance since 2011, or a playoff victory or division title since 2010.

Maybe that will change this year. Then again, maybe it won’t. I just know that I see reason for optimism for the future, with the track record of the franchise also in mind.

We have seen strides this year. We’ve had glimpses of what this offense could potentially look like when it’s firing on all cylinders. We’ve seen rookie wide receiver Martavis Bryant score six touchdowns in his first four games. That has to be exciting down the stretch and for the future.

Even though he’s not coming off of two of his better games, we’ve seen Le’Veon Bell become a premiere player at his position in his second season, being a factor equally on the ground and in the air.

There’s still more that we need to see on the defensive side of the ball, of course. But there should still be more to see once players such as Ryan Shazier, Jarvis Jones, and Stephon Tuitt eventually settle into their roles.

There is room for optimism, for both the remainder of the season and for the future, even if the Steelers may have lost to another bad team on the road.

Feel free to stand under my roof if you seek shelter from those who wish to tear down the sky by force if it doesn’t fall willingly. We’re all under the roof, wondering if the reports are true that the sky will fall. But the difference is we can step out and take a walk without fear.

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