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The 2020 Pittsburgh Steelers are officially for real

Are the Steelers the team to beat in the NFL? That remains to be seen, but after beating the undefeated Titans to improve to 6-0 on Sunday, they’re certainly for real.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

“Must be nice to be the team to beat.”

That quote is courtesy of a friend and Patriots fan who messaged me on Sunday evening when I was in the middle of writing a postgame article about the Steelers 27-24 victory over the Titans at Nissan Stadium.

Both teams came into the game with 5-0 records, but only one—the black and gold—arrived on the scene with real doubts about its credibility. Despite the Steelers’ place at or near the top of most of the unofficial NFL power rankings, one had to wonder if they were for real. After all, the Giants, Broncos, Texans and Eagles, Pittsburgh’s first four victims, weren’t. And the Browns, well...

Despite nearly blowing a 20-point second-half lead, the Steelers held on, and at the end of the day, isn’t that what it’s all about? It’s like a wise man once said, style points don’t matter....except for when they do, I guess. There will surely be folks who aren’t too impressed with Pittsburgh’s 6-0 start, even after it knocked off the squad with King Derrick Henry and Efficient Ryan Tannehill, the stars of a team that hadn’t tasted regular season defeat since before last Christmas.

However, the Steelers sure did look scary good, as they built that 27-7 lead, didn’t they? Yes, the Titans appeared to be unstoppable when they came roaring back in the second half and seemed to be on the verge of winning the game. But isn’t that what normally happens when two heavyweights go at it? It’s hard to thoroughly dominate your opponents week in and week out, especially when some of those opponents are legit.

I realize this sounds like I’m making excuses, but how many times do you think opposing defenses will limit Henry to 75 yards in a game over the course of the 2020 season? How often do you think Tennessee will be limited to 15 first downs and just five of 13 on third-down conversions? Furthermore, how many points should a potent offense like the Titans’ score off three takeaways? Probably a ton and not just a field goal, right?

Speaking of which, how often do teams lose the turnover battle three to zero and still win the game? How many times do you think quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will throw three interceptions in a game over the final 10 weeks?

Point is, the Steelers took a lot of blows from Tennessee during Sunday’s game, but they also got in their share of punches

That really showed me something.

It remains to be seen if the 2020 Pittsburgh Steelers are the team to beat, but after Sunday’s victory over the Titans, they are certainly for real.