Suffice it to say that the Pittsburgh Steelers could have saved their fans an awful lot of heartache weeks ago without some rough performances that resulted in losses in games that they had no business losing. In spite of that, however, they sit here today with a 12-3 record and the AFC North title, now weighing their options for the season finale as to whether or not they will rest some starters.
“It’s an absolute blessing. We locked into the details. It was a rough half, but I think all the guys locked in, and we got away with the win today. It was an awesome feeling”, center Maurkice Pouncey, who was named to his ninth Pro Bowl this year, told Aditi Kinkhabwala after the game.
The Steelers offense was its typically anemic self for the vast majority of the first half, with 41 of their 100ish yards coming on a meaningless 14-second drive at the end of the second quarter. They trailed 21-7 at halftime, and then 24-7 after the Indianapolis Colts’ first drive of the third quarter.
With the way quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the offense were playing, it certainly didn’t look like they had a 17-point comeback in them, but then again, this team doesn’t get a lot of chances to come back from trailing by 17 points.
This time, they did, and it was largely because of Roethlisberger playing much better and pushing the ball down the field in the second half. “Every game I go into, I know we’ve got a chance to win”, Pouncey said of his quarterback. “He’s a Hall of Fame player. He leads this team in the right way”.
And he wasn’t silent on the doubters and those who abandoned ship in recent weeks, either, with frankly Kinkhabwala herself being among the team’s harshest critics on Twitter. “Honestly, we deserve all the critics. We love it. keep it coming”, he offered.
Is this a team that plays better with their backs against the wall and the world against them? I don’t know whether or not that’s true, but they certainly defied expectations today with their remarkable comeback in a win that clinched their seventh division title under head coach Mike Tomlin.
Now they know that they will be hosting a playoff game. What they don’t yet know is whether or not that will be the next game that certain key players like Roethlisberger and Pouncey will play, as they still have the Cleveland Browns on deck for the finale, potentially with the second seed still in play.
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) December 27, 2020