As I was getting ready to bowl in my Sunday night league, a good friend of mine texted me and asked if I was open to some article ideas, regarding the Steelers 21-18 Week 1 victory over the Browns at First Energy Stadium on Sunday.
I sighed heavily, of course, and then said, "Yeah, sure, what?"
And when he responded with a text that touched on the team's notorious struggles with inferior opponents—specifically on the road—I thought, "Eureka! There's an idea I will steal and take full credit for!"
Yes, you can say what you want about the Steelers too-slim-for-comfort victory over Cleveland on Sunday, but you can't say it was a defeat.
And when it comes to that, Pittsburgh will be ahead of the Patriots and 15 other NFL franchises who will prepare for Week 2 with Opening Day losses hanging over their heads.
No, it wasn't pretty. Yes, you're having a hard time wrapping your head around offensive coordinator Todd Haley's game plan. Yes, the initial injury news on defensive end Stephon Tuitt gave you quite the scare.
But at least the Steelers are 1-0 (and 1-0 in the AFC North).
With a win safely tucked away, Pittsburgh has another week to develop better chemistry in an offense that includes some of the very best players at their positions in the NFL.
Do you seriously think the Steelers offense will average 14 points a game the rest of the way?
Do you really think star running back Le'Veon Bell will only average three yards a carry over the course of the 2017 regular season?
Do you believe rookie receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster will leave each game with zero receptions and multiple holding penalties?
The bottom line is, the Steelers won on Sunday, and as much as you'd like to criticize their overall performance (and that would certainly be warranted), at least we're not talking about another one of those losses to a team on its way to finishing with single-digit wins.
Back to the Steelers’ offense that is simply too good to average 290 yards per game.
Baseball types who are into analytics like to talk about things balancing out.
If that's the case, I certainly wouldn't be surprised to see the Steelers come out next Sunday afternoon at Heinz Field and put a whooping on the visiting Vikings, much like they did to the 49ers at home in Week 2 of the 2015 season.
The only difference then was that Pittsburgh was coming off a road loss to the defending Super Bowl-champion Patriots in Week 1, a loss that put the team behind in conference record and, ultimately, nearly cost it a playoff seed at season's end.
I don't know how 2017 will eventually play out—maybe the Steelers will need every last victory to secure a bye in the postseason—but at least we won't be looking back at a Week 1 loss in Cleveland as a reason for not having a better playoff seed.
In the end, it's all about winning, and the Steelers did that on Sunday.
1-0 is always better than 0-1.
If there are no moral victories, then there can be no moral defeats.