While the first four weeks of the 2013 season was one of the worst imaginable starts to the season, it has placed the Pittsburgh Steelers in a particular situation they are familiar with.
"A lot of people counted us out," LaMarr Woodley said yesterday. "We still have an opportunity to turn this thing around. Right now, we're marching in the right direction and we have to continue to do it."
To those who might remember, the feeling that the team had towards the end of the 2005-2006 season was similar. The team was 7-5, on a losing streak and the path to the playoffs most likely required to finish the season on a four game win streak to get a wild card spot.
As history went, the team wiped the board clean of any games past the one they had to play that week, played their best and put together eight straight wins en route to the franchise's fifth super bowl victory.
While few players on that team are currently on the Steelers roster, more were able to play alongside that nucleus in the following years. Woodley, Lawrence Timmons, and Ryan Clark became key components to the team while being able to play with leaders on the 2005 team such as Casey Hampton, DeShea Townsend, Aaron Smith and more. More players got to be part of a run to the super bowl 45 appearance with the tail end of the nucleus that developed around 2005.
Woodley's comment mirrors the image that has been resonant with the rest of the team. It recognizes the hole the team is in, but also affirms that the only way out of this pit is to get their hands dirty and string together wins.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been with the team through several ups and downs and also knows the deal here.
"We can't look at big pictures," Roethlisberger said. "
We are still in the hole and still trying to get out. That's the mentality and approach that I think we all have to take."
There it is.
Everyone and their mother quoted the Chinese proverb about a thousand mile journey beginning with a single step after the win over the Jets, but we should remember that you can't get to the third mile, before you finish the second. The point is that the team right now will benefit most from focusing on each game one at a time, as they have been since the bye week, rather than worrying about how they will make the playoffs by beating the Patriots, Lions, Bengals, Ravens and Packers later in the season.
Right now, the only game that matters is the one that happens at 4:05 p.m. ET in Oakland. And the Steelers know that only they can bring home the win, overcome the odds and pull themselves one step closer to escaping the hole they have dug for themselves.
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- The joys of a Ravens/Steelers game
- Week 8 Power Rankings
- Running game broke out in Week 7 last year as well
- Isaac Redman released
- Was the Heinz Field turf a silent partner in the Steelers' win?
- John Harbaugh's surprise onside kick a bit puzzling
- Steelers Le'Veon Bell says 'game is starting to slow down for me'