The Pittsburgh Steelers are out of Latrobe and back at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, also referred to as the South Side Facility. We are already into the regular season, where everything is magnified and, you know, actually counts. The team is working through the highs and lows and dramas that go through a typical Steelers season.
How are the rookies performing? What about the players that the team signed in free agency? Who is missing time with injuries, and when are they going to be back? What are the coaches saying about what they are going to do this season that might be different from how it was a year ago?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: What does the Steelers’ ability to go into Baltimore and win semi-convincingly tell you about their prospects for the 2018 season?
Four games ago, the Steelers were sitting in the basement of the AFC North looking up at everybody except their drunk cousin from Cleveland who was crashing with them on the futon. Fastforward to today and they now have the attic room at mom’s house.
Along the way, they have beaten the Falcons, along with everybody in their division. The Falcons were just with one win at the time, but have since climbed to a 4-4 record, while the Bengals are 5-3 in their bye week. The Ravens have of course fallen to 4-5 after losing four of their last five (and three straight), while the Browns are…still drunk in the basement.
It didn’t seem like much to beat Atlanta where they were at the time. Beating Cleveland is never an accomplishment, and they have long had Cincinnati’s number. Winning in Baltimore though? They has always been a tall task, and even after two consecutive road victories there, Ben Roethlisberger is still only 4-6 on the road against the Ravens in his career.
That in itself is impressive, but what about yesterday’s game in particular? Does it convince you that the Steelers are ‘for real’, with both of their starting tackles out of the game, and in-game injuries to the cornerback position causing issues?
They are the Ravens, a team that always plays the Steelers tough (even losing to Ryan Mallett), but they are also a team that has one win in the past month. This was supposed to be the game in which we were going to learn about the team, but was this too wounded of a team to take much away at the end of the day?