It’s been a rough season for Pittsburgh Steelers fans. With a record of 3-7, the worst record the team has had this late in a season for a long time, there hasn’t been a lot to cheer about. Additionally, the Steelers are playing their 11th game this week and have only been favored to win one time all season, which they didn’t. If there were any fans still holding out that this was not a rebuild season, I think they are becoming much more scarce.
When the team isn’t doing well, there’s often talk of what’s bringing them down. Whether it be turnovers, lack of production from the offense, the sporadic greatness from the defense, or blaming one of a variety of coaches, there is plenty that Steelers fans have been enraged about. And when it gets into the play-by-play action, there are tons of things which enrages Steelers’ Nation because of how things are being done.
The biggest problem I’m having right now is figuring out when I’m supposed to be outraged like a good fan, and when I’m supposed to be okay with what’s going on. As the Steelers headed into their bye week, I was supposed to be an outraged fan calling for half the coaching staff to be fired and replaced instantly. A consolation prize would be simply the replacement of offensive coordinator Matt Canada, but that didn’t even happen. As I settled in for my Canada outrage for the rest of the season, it didn’t come in Week 10 as the Steelers offense didn’t turn the ball over, or even punt the ball in the second half of the game as they were victorious over the New Orleans Saints. Then to start Week 11, the Steelers scored 20 points in a half with 10 points coming in the final two minutes. I was ready to go with squashing the Canada hate only for the Steelers to ultimately lose a game in which they scored 30 points and surrendered 37, once again get back to saying that Canada has no business being employed by an NFL team.
I also get confused when it comes to judging the decisions in regards to play calling. I’m outraged at the jet sweep action, but am I supposed to care when they go for 10 yards, or more? Am I still supposed to be outraged?
I’m also supposed to be upset about the Steelers not running the ball enough and asking a rookie quarterback to pass too much, but apparently on second down is when it’s never supposed to happen. Hold on, I need to correct that. It’s on second and long when it’s never supposed to happen. But I’m also confused because if the Steelers always run the ball on second and long I don’t understand how for the season on second down when they’ve had 8 yards to go or more the Steelers have passed on 79 plays and rushed on 39 plays. Also, if it’s one of the 17 running plays on second long where the Steelers rushed for 5 yards or more, am I supposed to be outraged as they hand of the ball off? Does the result of the play matter if it was a good decision to run the play or not? I’m struggling with being really confused.
From the moment the play was run, I was not in favor of the Steelers running a flea flicker after they finally achieved a first down in the second half against Cincinnati which didn’t happen until the fourth quarter. With the Steelers rushing to the line, they ran a very unconventional play that looked disconnected from the very beginning. I thought that was a terrible place to run in that moment when they were trying to go hurry up as it didn’t seem very natural. But if the pitch from Harris is a little more on point and Kenny Pickett throws the ball quickly for a nice gain, was it still a terrible call?
I guess what I’m struggling with the most is if the outrage of the decision before the play is actually based on that decision or if it’s completely dependent on the outcome. If a pass goes off of a player’s fingertips, was it still a bad decision to run the play or was it one that would have worked in that moment if it was executed better? If a wide receiver makes a phenomenal catch, does it suddenly make it the right call or did they simply overcome what was happening?
I know I’m asking a lot of questions, but I seriously don’t know where to focus my outrage. At this point, I’m more outraged at not knowing where to be outraged. Maybe that’s where I should be as a Steelers fan at this point.
Here is where I’m ultimately concerned: I see a situation arising for the Steelers this season, possibly as soon as Monday night, when the team is down by a point and lining up for a 48-yard field goal with 0:03 left in the game. If that kick goes one foot inside the uprights I’m supposed to be ecstatic and all is good in the world as the Steelers found a way to win, but if that ball goes one foot outside the upright everyone should be fired, benched, and the whole thing should be started over by the next game.
I am frustrated that I have to wait for the kick to know how I’m supposed to feel. If the coaches all need fired and the players need benched, I don’t think a 2-foot difference in a kick at the end of game should be the difference between genius and incompetence. It seems a bit much in both directions.
Maybe the answer is somewhere in the middle. That’s probably where it lies before the kicker’s foot strikes the ball, so the result of said kick probably shouldn’t be the ultimate deciding factor. But since it decides who wins and who loses, that’s where all my emotions will ride.
If this scenario plays out this season, and if that kick misses, somebody better be fired. In fact, fire them before they snap the ball.