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: Did you enjoy seeing the Baltimore Ravens lose yesterday after they eliminated the Steelers?
Outside of their own issues that they produced themselves, the Ravens are the reason the Steelers did not play this weekend. Posting a 6-1 record over the final seven weeks, they surged from 4-5 to 10-6 to claim the AFC North title in Week 17, doing so only after Pittsburgh won their game.
Not that it would be needed for most people, but that was just added fuel for Steelers fans to relish in the Ravens’ defeat yesterday at the hands of the Los Angeles Chargers, a game in which both offenses looked pretty terrible the majority of the time.
Even into the fourth quarter, rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson posted a net minus in passing yardage due to his inaccurate throws and the number of sacks that he had taken. While they made it interesting late once they fell behind by three possessions, they would go down 23-17 in the end.
So they sprinted to the finish line over the second half of the season to stamp their ticket into the playoffs, and were not able to do anything with it once they got there. There was serious consideration that they might even bench Jackson in the second half and put in Joe Flacco, who had not played since Week Nine.
One of the few times that I have ever pulled for the Ravens was actually in the Harbowl, because they were playing the San Francisco 49ers and I obviously did not want to see that franchise win its sixth Lombardi. Both they and the New England Patriots have failed in their first attempts at six so far.
Yesterday, I was definitely rooting for Philip Rivers and company. In fact, I will be pulling for them all throughout the postseason this year. While their offense had major issues with Baltimore’s defense, their own defense definitely came to play—until the end at least.