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10 Things I Think I Thought watching the Steelers crumble in New Orleans

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The things I think I thought watching the Steelers lose to the Saints was quite depressing.

Pittsburgh Steelers v New Orleans Saints Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Like everyone else I’m disappointed, upset, on edge. Despite, or perhaps because of this, I want to share the thoughts I had along the way as we lost our sixth game of the year.

  1. Last week I suggested our team, like our coach, suffered from being Jekyll and Hyde. We should have beat the team likely to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, in their own house, without our star running back, James Conner. That means we are a team that should be competing for the Super Bowl. But it looks likely we’ll be finishing our season next week.
  2. All season I felt like death was sitting beside me while I watched the games. Sunday reflected this about our season- no calls went our way; no bounces went our way. I don’t believe in luck, but things fall your way when you win it all. When they don’t fall your way, you won’t win much. I’ve said it before, if you scratch luck you’ll find hard work beneath it. But sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce our way.
  3. Here’s the hard thing about this game, and with it, the season. Of course the first call on Joe Haden was ridiculous and important. Of course the second one may have come on a tipped ball. But at the end of the day, A.) we fumbled the ball at the critical moment. B.) we failed at a fake punt C.) we let them march down the field on us d. we went four and out with the game on the line. Bad calls and unlucky bounces are never why we lose. We lose because we blow the opportunities we’ve been given.
  4. On that fumble, I’m having a hard time understanding something. When Jerome fumbled in Indy, I was sympathetic, before we won. When Fitzgerald Toussaint fumbled in the playoffs, I was sympathetic, despite our losing. When Stevan Ridley fumbled, it just made me mad. How does a guy with a history of fumbling not hold on to the ball in such a crucial situation?
  5. Tomlin. I’ve never been a Tomlin hater. Keeping Ben Roethlisberger on the bench, that tested my resolve. The constant failures with the challenge flag, that frustrates me. But in this game, this almost as critical as a game can get game, A.) he fails to throw his flag when he has a real chance on a play that would make a big difference (the “non-catch” and therefore “non-fumble” we “didn’t” recover) and B.) a fake punt, then? there? There is a big yawning gap between not living in our fears and being foolhardy. He seems incapable of telling the difference.
  6. In the end, though, I’d keep him. I’d like to see the front office giving him some direction, coaching his coaching. He is not the emperor Chaz. Those above him need to hold him accountable to teach him to hold accountable the players under him.
  7. So we’re no longer in control of our own destiny. Who would have thought that our post season hopes would come down, in week 17, to hoping the Browns could beat the Ravens? Weirder still, who would have thought such was even possible? But it is. One small comfort this season is that once again, we have a whole season. That is, if we are knocked out, and it seems likely we will be, it won’t be until our last game of the season.
  8. Give thanks then this holiday season. There are fans in 17 cities who have no reason to watch next week’s games. We’re not among them.
  9. Also on the plus side, I’m 2-1 in late season losses in not being a jerk to my beautiful wife. On the negative side, the game was too nauseating to allow me to eat my sausage sandwiches.
  10. We have no one to blame but ourselves. And now it is, more or less, too late.