"Right now, you could call us the worst team in the league," he said. One side hurts, because of the blunt, harsh criticism brought about by a quarterback who's frequently taken the optimistic road in sound byte opportunities. More painful is the other side, the one that makes fans realize he's seeing things the same way we are.
The Steelers are, at best and at worst, in the conversation of the worst teams in the NFL.
We aren't sure how to act, or what to say as fans. We're not just looking up at the rest of the division. We'd have to clear out five feet of dirt and debris to get a clear view at the posteriors of the fans of the divisional rivals leaving the Steelers in their collective wakes.
As Jerry Maguire spit at Rod Tidwell, "Do you want this coat? I don't need it, because I'm cloaked in failure!"
At the risk of splitting hairs, it's hard to argue the Jacksonville Jaguars - with their 7.8 points per game average and -98 point differential - do not appear to be not just on the track to the nether regions of the NFL standings, but have already set up a shack there with nothing but a cot and a black and white TV playing nothing but Everybody Loves Raymond re-runs. They can't Drown for the Clown, because they're bloated bodies surfaced shoreside a long time ago.
The Giants, with a -85 differential, appear to be more of a favorite for the second-worst, but the Steelers have failed to recover a fumble or catch an opponent's pass (some of the older folk might remember those). The Raiders have not logged an interception this year, even the Broncos join the Steelers as not having recovered an opponent's fumble.
Every other team has one or the other. Most have both. The Steelers have none.
The Giants and Steelers are nose-to-nose for the dubious distinction of least amount of sacks in the league, with four each. Odd, how two teams that make up the yeoman's share of Super Bowl appearances from 2007-11 lived on pressure defenses, but now, they get pressure tantamount to a deflating balloon. The power of one too.
Worst part is, the Steelers fourth sack was a forced fumble by LaMarr Woodley. The ball bounced off Cam Heyward's meaty chest and through his paws, only to land at the feet of Jarvis Jones, who watched Minnesota's Jerome Simpson fall on it.
First down Vikings.
It was Woodley's third sack of the year, meaning he's on pace to pick up 12 sacks this year, none resulting in a change of possession and none in a winning effort. The strip-sack of Cassel could have resulted in some positive momentum but his fellow defenders were so shocked to actually see the ball loose, they must not have known what to do.
It's a circus of errors in Pittsburgh, and despite a miserable four-game run, it doesn't appear they can even win the "Worst Team in the League" contest. That's the saddest part.
More from Behind the Steel Curtain:
- Steelers Postgame News, Updates and Analysis
- Steelers defense just may lack talent
- It's time for the Steelers to make a change at left tackle
- Antonio Brown among statistical leaders
- Johnson, Heyward score highest grades
- Four things we learned in another Steelers loss
- Lost in the loss was an impressive debut for Le'Veon Bell
- Postgame injury report: Foster left with chest injury
- Twitter reaction to 0-4 start
- Steelers vs. Vikings final score: Minnesota paced by five sacks in 34-27 win over Pittsburgh
- Winners and Losers in Steelers loss to Vikings