This is my take on the Steelers 2012 season, enjoy or hate, you digggg…
Week one: Denver 31, Pittsburgh 19. Even though the Steelers had the ball ten more minutes than the Broncos, “new” QB Peyton Manning passed for more yards (253) than Ben Roethlisberger (245). Manning also threw his 400th TD pass. At the time Manning said, “It’s just one game. I try to keep it in perspective.” Well now it is really in perspective because the Manning-led Broncos are the No.1 seed in the AFC. Broncos cornerback Tracy Porter, returned a Roethlisberger pass 43 yards with less than 3 minutes to go leaving the Broncos with a six-point lead that capped the victory for the Broncos. Roethlisberger said, “I should’ve called timeout. I hate to burn timeouts. I should’ve. I already told my teammates and coaches that it’s my fault. It’s on me. It’s disappointing. I hate to let my team down, my coaches, the fans. That loss is squarely on my shoulders. I’ll take that and get better and learn from it.” Pay attention, you will hear this again.
Week two: The Steelers returned to the “friendly” confines of Heinz Field to meet, greet and beat the confused, confounded and grounded NY Jets 27-10. “Big” Ben and the Black and Gold were starting to feel their oats. After that game, wide receiver Mike “need-a-bit of stickum” Wallace had this to say about his “elite” quarterback: “Ben is one of the top in the game; I’ll ride with him against anybody.” Okay Mike, by the way, will you be singing the same Roethlisberger “psalms” next year when you are wearing a different colored jersey?
Week three: Took the men of steel to the “Black Hole” to play the Oakland Raiders and contrary to popular belief the “Silver and Black” found an old Al Davis talisman and sent the Steelers back to Pittsburgh licking the wounds of a 34-31 loss. Safety Ryan Clark had this to say after the loss: “They outplayed us defensively. Their defense made the stops when they needed to, and we didn’t. It wasn’t from a lack of trying. Maybe it was trying too hard.” La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la means I love you….
Week four: It was a bye week for Pittsburgh but they were not really off. They spent their leisure time online searching for an adequate supply of “kick a-s.” However it appears that all the wholesalers may have been fresh out.
Week five: Pittsburgh offered up a weak performance returning home to barely escape the Philadelphia Eagles and their turnover plagued one hundred million dollar quarterback Michael Vick, 16-14. After the game, Mike Tomlin had this glowing assessment of his defense: “We had the ball last such is life.” Roethlisberger added, “I always have confidence in myself and the guys that we can do it.” I can dig it; can you dig it, boys and girls?
Week six: Was a short week because on the following Thursday Pittsburgh traveled to Tennessee to meet the much ridiculed and snickered at Tennessee Titans and their on again, off again All Pro running back Chris Johnson. Pittsburgh left Tennessee just as they left the “Black Hole” in Oakland, “Cali” nursing the wounds of a 26-23 defeat. This was their third straight road loss leading Tomlin to offer this assessment: “We’re not doing enough things to finish games in hostile environments. That’s just the reality right now. Hopefully, it’s just right now. We didn’t do the job tonight. We defeated ourselves in some areas.”
Week seven: The Steelers rolled into Paul Brown Stadium to face the now ever dangerous Cincy Bengals. Pittsburgh prevailed by the score of 24-17. This was their first road victory of the season prompting Ryan Clark to say, “It puts us right there in the hunt.” The hunt for what Ryan? “Red October.”
Week eight: The Steelers visited the nearest beekeeper to borrow uniforms as they humbled rookie phenom Robert Griffin III and the Redskins 27-12. Hope springs eternal.
Week nine: The Steelers traveled to the Hurricane “Sandy” ravaged shore of New Jersey to face the listless New York Giants and won 24-20, gee were any of you surprised, boys and girls? Steelers running back Issac Redman said this: “This shows we have a lot of heart. When you play for the Steelers, it’s all about heart.” Yep, uh-huh.
Week 10: Monday night football at Heinz Field. Hurricane Charles and Cassell swept through Pittsburgh disguised as the KC Chiefs as Romeo Crennell’s boys lost by the paltry score of 16-13 in overtime. This game was a serious omen. The handwriting was on the wall and the worst was yet to come.
Week 11: The B-more Ravens flew into Heinz and beat the “scrambling” sub QB Byron Leftwich 13-10, nuff said.
Week 12: X-mas came early in Cleveland. The Steelers handed the Browns eight “gifts” and a 20-14 win.
Week 13: The Steelers went dawn to M&T Bank in Baltimore and returned the favor beating the Ravens and crying tears of joy. Tears of sorrow were on the way.
Week 14: The much maligned San Diego Chargers rolled into Pittsburgh and beat the Black and Gold 34-24 leaving behind “Rivers” of tears.
Week 15: The Steelers traveled to the Lone Star state and lost to the Cowboys by the score of 27-24. There was a pick involved.
Week 16: The Bengals came to Heinz Field and won the AFC “wild card” championship. There was also a pick involved. “We should be (in the playoffs) if it wasn’t for me,” Roethlisberger said after throwing his second game-deciding interception in eight days. More tears followed.
Week 17: The Steelers barely beat the Browns 24-10 in a meaningless contest as Cleveland’s third string practice squad quarterback Thaddeus Lewis passed for more yards than Pittsburgh’s “elite” QB.
Wait until next year…you just wait.
(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-583-6741.)