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5 Burning Questions as the Steelers begin playing for pride

Can Dolphins swim in the snow, are are the Steelers just ordinary? Did the Steelers over scheme vs. Mike Wallace? If Bell was running so well, why didn't the Steelers score more? Answer these and other Burning Questions on the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Clay got away from Allen and Polamalu, and away went with him the Steelers season....
Clay got away from Allen and Polamalu, and away went with him the Steelers season....
Justin K. Aller

As we now know, Pittsburgh's dream of a story book comeback from an 0-4 start ended as the Steelers failed on fundamentals vs. the Dolphins. Now the only issue is how much of the hemorrhaging can Mike Tomlin stop?

But before drafting order can be assessed or long-term answers addressed, Steelers Nation must first answer Behind the Steel Curtain's 5 Burning Questions.

1. As BTSC's Tony Defeo noted, Dolphins are not supposed to swim in the snow. Yet, these Miami Dolphins swam circles around the Steelers defense at times. Does their success speak more to their ability to overcome the elements, or does it simply highlight the Steelers flaws?

2. In his Takeaway's column, Neal Coolong made an interesting point:

Jones was abused in the Dolphins running game, and considering the way Jason Worilds has played, and how explosive LaMarr Woodley looked (even with some rust), the only thing keeping Jones on the field is doing is hurting his confidence.

As the Steelers shift into "Play for Pride mode," how should coaches balance consideration's such as Neal's vs. the need to get younger players game experience?

3. Mike Wallace's total vs. the Steelers? 2 catches for 19 yards. If someone had told you that before the game, you'd probably have thought the Steelers defense had put in a very good afternoon. Yet, they were gouged by unheralded players. Given this, do you think the Steelers defensive staff can be accused of over-scheming against Wallace?

4. The Steelers have taken a lot of heat on the disappearance of Le'Veon Bell in the second half. Mike Tomlin explained it this way:

We ran the ball effectively in the first half of the football game. It was an asset to us. I would have liked to have scored more than seven points. We scored 21 points in the second half. That was better than the first half.

Given that 3 touchdown to 1 differential coupled with the fact that the offense reclaimed the lead twice in the second half, do you think this criticism is legitimate?

5. Loyalty is a foundation of the concept we celebrate as "Steelers Nation." Yet, Tribune-Review writer Mark Kaboly made this observation during the Dolphins game:

We also saw Heinz Field empty out at the half vs. Detroit. If the Steelers play what is now a meaningless Sunday Night game in front of a lot of no-shows, early exiters or God forbid, Bengals fans, must we as members of Steelers Nation re-evaluate the high marks we give ourselves for our loyalty as a fan base?

There you have the folks. These are your 5 Burning Questions for the Bengals Game. Have at it!