Merry Christmas! The Pittsburgh Steelers vanquished the Packers in the snows of Lambeau Field, improved their record to 7-8, and heading into the season's final week find themselves with a shot at the playoffs. Yet before learn whether the Steelers can take care of business vs. the Browns AND see the AFC's stars align in their favor, Steelers Nation must first answer these 5 Burning Questions.
1. Mike Tomlin took a lot of heat for going for the touchdown instead of trying to kill the clock and kicking a field goal. Yet, the decision was hardly out of character. After all, Tomlin went for 2 after a penalty in his first playoff game, called an on-sides kick vs. the Packers in 2009, called a reverse on an opening kickoff vs. Tennessee in 2010, and went for it on 4th and 10 vs. the Dolphins. And this is just the top of the list.
What do you think of Tomlin's "Devil May Care" attitude towards risk taking?
2. Speaking of special teams more generally, in recent weeks we've now seen the Steelers return a punt for a touchdown, enjoy several other long returns, pull off a fake field goal, and block a punt. Yet, vs. the Bengals and Packers, the Steelers also gave up several long kick returns, and they've also had a punt block this season. Does your assessment of the job Danny Smith has done on special teams find you seeing the glass half full or half empty?
3. Aside from all of the normal pomp and circumstance that comes with the season, Christmas time also marks a time when many members of the Pittsburgh diaspora return to home base. Trips Pittsburgh were a staple of my first 20 years or so and inadvertently gave me a front-row seat view to some of the Steelers more important milestones of the late 80's and early ‘90's. Whether trips to Pittsburgh were or remain a part of your holiday experience or not, do you have any Steelers-themed Christmas memories? If so please share them.
4. The Pittsburgh press corps named Le'Veon Bell as the Steelers rookie of the year. The Steelers locker room has now voted Antonio Brown as the team's MVP. If you could have cast a vote for Steelers MVP who would you have voted for? Defend your vote.
5. The Steelers started 0-4, yet find themselves with a shot at the playoffs nonetheless. Does that say more to you about the Steelers as an organization or about mediocrity of the AFC?
There you go folks. Have at it.