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17 things I learned about the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2021 campaign

17 things I learned about the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2021 regular season and postseason.

NFL: AFC Wild Card Playoffs-Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
  1. If you put a number in any title of an article, people will read that article. That’s not really something I learned about the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2021, but I figured I’d make it part of this list because it’s just common sense and a good reminder for my offseason writing strategy.
  2. I didn’t think it was possible, but a team actually can make the playoffs after finishing 23rd in offense, 24th in defense, and “losing the battle at the line of scrimmage” each and every week.
  3. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger just didn’t have it anymore physically in 2021, which was why it was his last season with the team.
  4. You can lead a horse to water, but if it’s not a good and talented horse, it’s probably not going to catch the football.
  5. Speaking of which, Antonio Brown doesn’t seem so toxic and cancerous when examining his time with the Steelers with perfect 20/20 hindsight. I mean, I guess he was and all that, but it sure didn’t appear to hinder Pittsburgh’s chances of winning games when he played here.
  6. While we’re on the subject of horses, not having the right ones will likely cause fans to want to fire Randy Fichtner and then Matt Canada, before going after Keith Butler.
  7. With the roster they went into the season with, it was a miracle the Steelers made the playoffs in 2021.
  8. Roethlisberger still had great ability in 2021, his last as a Steeler, but his offensive line and receiving corps repeatedly let him down.
  9. I could tell the Steelers weren’t very good in 2021 judging by the record number of times I saw the phrase “Any Given Sunday” used as a reason for why they could win games.
  10. It’s never a good idea to pick against the Steelers, at least when they’re as bad as they were in 2021. Sure, it might have made sense to the uninitiated to pick against them in matchups vs. the Chiefs, Titans and Packers, but the more logical and rational approach was to “believe” they would win every game. It was a confusing experience picking against the Steelers last year, especially with the way so many fans normally go after the team. It was like that significant other that’s always telling you what a loser you are and how the relationship just isn’t working—they could do so much better. But as soon as you say, “You know what? You’re right, let’s break up,” your significant other panics and says, “Whoa! Why so rash? Let’s talk about this, honey.”
  11. The only reason the Steelers lost to the Chiefs in the Wild Card round was because of coaching.
  12. Aaron Rodgers should be the Steelers' new quarterback in 2022, or maybe it should be Russell Wilson. Nah, neither is worth the trouble. How about Jimmy Garoppolo or Derek Carr? Garbage. Kenny Pickett? Garbage. Sam Howell? Garbage.
  13. How about Marcus Mariota or Mitch Trubisky? Now you’re talking!
  14. On a serious note, many Steelers fans showed how cold-hearted they could be at best or how downright evil they could be at worst by the way they talked about Stephon Tuitt and the personal issues that may or may not have been what caused him to miss the entire 2021 season.
  15. At the very least, the Steelers managed to find a starting running back, a starting tight end and a starting left tackle in their most-recent draft class. That’s actually not bad.
  16. Heinz Field is so much better with people in the stands than it is without them.
  17. I never get used to the end of the Steelers’ season, even when they, themselves, appear to be begging for it.