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: Is this the last game of the 2018 season for the Steelers?
Depending on how the evening unfolds, this may be the last South Side question for the year, because it may be the last time we have a game to talk about for the season. It’s the regular season finale, and the Steelers need to win in addition to getting help in order to advance to the postseason.
While the odds may be against Pittsburgh playing another game this season, it’s still a very possible scenario. They will be favored significantly against a toothless Cincinnati Bengals team. The Cleveland Browns need to beat or tie the Baltimore Ravens on the road, which is probably less likely to happen than to come to pass, but it’s well within the realm of possibility.
The Browns have surprisingly become a pretty good team, but this will be one of the bigger challenges they have faced. Since Gregg Williams took over as interim head coach, they have only played two really tough teams, the Houston Texans and the Kansas City Chiefs, and they lost to both.
The Ravens seemingly outperform what they should be capable of doing each week, though it certainly has a lot to do with the quality of their defense. If the Browns’ defense—which is much improved—can keep Lamar Jackson contained, then this could be a low-scoring affair on both ends.
As for the Steelers, they shouldn’t have much difficulty beating the Bengals even if Antonio Brown and James Conner don’t play, to be perfectly honest. JuJu Smith-Schuster will be out there, and Dre Kirkpatrick won’t. Cincinnati has so many injuries on offense that it’s almost difficult to list them all.
Of course, they also lost to the Oakland Raiders, but come on…I just can’t see it today.