On Nov. 8, an Associated Press article stated: “The Pittsburgh Steelers aren’t playing like a team missing Le’Veon Bell. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 328 yards and five touchdowns. The Steelers pounded the Carolina Panthers, 52-21, on Thursday night for their fifth straight victory.”
That article is about as good a summation of a very lopsided Steelers victory that I could read or write about.
Professional football in general gushed about Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger having earned a “perfect” 158.3 quarterback in his win against the Panthers this past Thursday, Nov. 8. I have my drinking glass against the wall trying to eavesdrop to hear if the chatter has stalled with regards to Mike Tomlin’s pending demise because of the lack of discipline in the locker room remaining the primary catalyst of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ pending downfall. Oops, did I fail to mention that the Steelers reside at the top of the AFC North “food chain” after starting the season at 1-2-1?
The current Pittsburgh Steelers are a good, but not great football team that can ascend from above average to superior in the blink of an eye. However, there is only one component that distinguishes them from hall of fame to hall of shame. That element is inconsistency. Just like many of the scribes that cover them on a daily basis, the Pittsburgh Steelers do not have the performance continuity that a few of the “elite” NFL teams have.
Sadly a few of the Pittsburgh writers that consistently cover the team focus on creating goats and heroes. In early October when Ben Roethlisberger alluded to the fact that he and his partner-in-crime wide receiver Antonio Brown were not on the same page, the poison between them infected the team as a whole and as we all know the only known antidote to losing is winning, period. Unlike his team and a majority of the media, Tomlin and his methods of discipline or lack thereof seem to have remained unchanged.
And here’s what’s changed…
The Steelers are now winning and all of that other “hogwash of losing” can safely be returned to the pigpen. This past Sunday, Nov. 11, the New England Patriots were defeated by the Tennessee Titans, 34-10. Sam Quinn of 247sports.com had this to say about the loss. “The New England Patriots just played one of the worst games of the Bill Belichick era. They came into Nashville expecting an easy win over the Tennessee Titans. They promptly allowed the Titans to destroy them…This game was, in short, a complete and utter disaster for the defending AFC champions and the media recognized that. Nobody let the Patriots off the hook for their terrible performance.”
No one said that the reason that the Patriots were defeated was because of the lack of discipline in the locker room or that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was playing favorites. If the Steelers go on to snag their seventh Lombardi Trophy at the conclusion of the 2018 season, there is a good chance that the primary reason for victory will not hinge on the greatness of the coaching staff or on disciplinary punishment dished out by the head coach or the lack thereof. The same folks that were whining about why Antonio Brown was not temporarily suspended or benched for being stopped and ticketed for allegedly driving more than 100 miles per hour in a “residential zone.” You can bet your last dollar on this. I am positive that the Carolina Panthers wish that in light of the way that Antonio Brown torched their secondary that he had been forced to “ride the pine” last Thursday night.
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