There are no such things as good losses or bad wins in the National Football League. An ugly win is still a good win. An unfortunate loss is still a bad loss. Wins are wins, losses are losses, and the league's playoff system does not discriminate.
For the Black and Gold, that's unfortunate, as they're the best 2-4 football team that I've ever seen. Of course, that and a dollar still only gets you a cup of coffee.
Pittsburgh now faces the most daunting of challenges. After what ought to be a sure win over Oakland, Pittsburgh will stare the fate of its season right in the eye. At Denver. Then New Orleans in the Steel City. Lose one and they won't be able to drop another contest the rest of the season. Win both and they'll be 5-4, on a three game winning streak, with their desitny in their hands.
Complicating the already murky picture is the latest setback in a six month stretch that's been nothing but setbacks. A concussion to Ben Roehtlisberger, just as he was hitting peak form. Can he sustain the momentum he was building? Should Pittsburgh even play him against the hapless Raiders? Could any team overcome all the obstacles that have arisen between Pittsburgh and another playoff run?
Ced Wilson and these Steelers have conquered Denver in must-win situations before.
Count me as one of the believers. The 2005 world championship football team faced odds longer than this, and emerged conquerers of the challenge. The line has been drawn before, and this group has stood tall and accepted the task. It's time, once more, to draw that line.
Three weeks. Three wins. New life.
If ever there were a time... now is it:
Here we go, Steelers.
Here we go.