Even though their schedule got screwed up, the Pittsburgh Steelers are still in a good place. After all, they are undefeated at 3-0. Though almost every other team has already played four games rather than three, they are now one of just six remaining unbeaten teams.
Two of those teams, the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs, play tonight to see if they can stay that way. The Seattle Seahawks and the Buffalo Bills are the only 4-0 teams, as of course both the Steelers and the Tennessee Titans are stuck at 3-0 due to their game scheduled for yesterday being postponed.
That does not change the fact that things are good. Ben Roethlisberger is playing well, with seven touchdowns to one interception through three games. They have already had three 100-yard rushers, two by James Conner, who also had two touchdowns. T.J. Watt has three and a half sacks, and the defense has five takeaways with 15 sacks. And JuJu Smith-Schuster leads the team with three touchdowns.
That is the same number of scores in 12 games that he had last season, and he is angling for his first-ever season with double-digit touchdowns, after finishing each of his first two seasons with seven. But team statistics supersede the individual.
“We’re 3-0. I’m very happy with where we’re at. We’re standing good. The Steelers are a part of this AFC run”, he said on CBS Sports HQ late last week. “We’re definitely making some noise for ourselves, and I’m happy. Our defense is doing their job, Ben is back, Ben is healthy. We’ve got guys that are just hungry to play. It’s kind of sad that we didn’t get to play against the Titans because they’re 3-0 too”.
Of course they didn’t get to play that game, yet, but they did get a chance to rest and prepare for the opportunity to go 4-0, with their next opponent, the Philadelphia Eagles, coming in with a 1-2-1 record after beating a backup quarterback yesterday who ended up being benched.
They played the San Francisco 49ers without Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Bosa, and Arik Armstead, among others. That would have been like playing the Steelers last year with Mason Rudolph getting benched in favor of Devlin Hodges, with Watt and Stephon Tuitt both missing.
Life is a series of curve balls, one after another, and your life story is about how good a swing you can get on the curves that go over the plate. The Steelers were handed an impromptu bye week, and now they’re being served up the Eagles. Can they hit this next game out of the park? Considering the good place they’re in, according to Smith-Schuster, they certainly should be able to.