The Pittsburgh Steelers opened the 2019 season with a three-game losing streak. As they head into the finale, they are desperately trying to close out the year by avoiding another three-game losing streak. Yet what is remarkable is that in the midst of this was a stretch in between in which they went 8-2.
How does that happen? Obviously, injuries play a major factor in all of this, but ultimately it speaks to the unusual nature of the Steelers’ season overall, which has been filled with ups, downs, and in-betweens since going back to January—or really, even before that, toward the tail end of last season.
From blonde mustaches to duck calls, we’ve sure been on a hell of a ride on the Steeler Nation Roller Coaster in 2019, and as the year comes to a close, it’s hard not to start to look back, especially with the gloomy hopes of a postseason berth fading.
This fact has not been lost on those in the locker room by any means, especially those who have been around the block a few times. Said veteran guard David DeCastro, one of five Pro Bowl players for the team this year, “it’s been a really weird season”.
“I don’t think I’ve been part of anything like this before”, he went on to tell reporters during his media availability yesterday, via Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I don’t know how to put it in words, but we’re still alive…That’s all that matters”.
They are still alive, but with what hope? It really falls into the hands of the Houston Texans and exactly how much they care about the possibility of securing the number three seed versus the number four seed, and whether or not that will even be on the table for them by the time they kick off in the afternoon.
It may be fitting that Le’Veon Bell has potentially played a key role in the Steelers missing the postseason, as he was the New York Jets’ best weapon on Sunday in their victory over Pittsburgh, even converting multiple third-and-medium plays on the ground, which you never want to give up as a defense.
Between that, Antonio Brown making a brief cameo with the New England Patriots, Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges getting benched for one another—Rudolph and Hodges playing, period—and so many other things, this has decidedly been one weird season. I can’t argue with DeCastro on that one.