It’s Only the First Quarter

Kenny Pickett on preparing for 49ers, translating preseason success into  regular season - YouTube

"Steelers handed worst home loss in Mike Tomlin era to start 2023 season," "Mike Tomlin: Steelers 'got kicked in the teeth' by 49ers," and "NFL Fans Roasted Kenny Pickett After Dreadful Performance in Steelers' Loss to 49ers" are all titles to articles written about our boys in the Black&Gold…and they’re not wrong. Yesterday’s game was one of the worst performances I didn’t watch, (thanks for being in Washingtons coverage 757 -.-) but followed closely on my fantasy app…which also managed to do terribly, but that’s not what this article is about. Look…a shellacking is a shellacking, but…as I always say, context is important.

1) It’s a long season: Guys, we can break down the football season the same way we breakdown NFL games, one quarter at a time. In this case, weeks 1-4 is the first quarter of the season. Does going 0-1 in the way that we did suck? Absolutely. But at the end of the day, if we end the first quarter of the season 3-1, game 1 won’t be brought up too terribly much I'd wager.

2) The Team: Furthermore, we ended up losing to one of the most complete rosters in football, a team that literally ran out of QB’s in the NFC championship game; otherwise, things could have looked different. Point is, the 49ers may literally be the best team we face all season long. Does losing to them suck? Again, yes…but at least it’s against a legit SB contender and that contender happens to be from the NFC.

3) Week 1 Shenanigans: Lions went into Arrowhead and beat Patty Mahomes, Browns embarrassed the highest paid QB and his squad, the Seahawks got crushed in their building by a Kupp-less Rams squad who was terribad last season, etc. Crazy stuff can happen week 1. I’m not making excuses…just pointing out that, it’s not just US.

4) AFCN: You guys may have heard of the song "Rich Men North of Richmond" but have you heard "Poor Punks South of Pittsburgh?" For those that haven’t, the lyrics are basically, "you just spent $275 million dollars for a guy who went 14/31 for 82 yards against the BROWNS LOLOLOLOLOL!!!" Hyperbole aside, the Bengals and Steelers actually had a lot in common. Both teams talked smack prior to the game they couldn’t back up, both O-Lines let their QB’s get hit too much (9 hits on Kenny, 10 on Burrow), AND neither running game got established while, simultaneously on the other side of the ball, allowed their opponent to run through them. In both cases, bad looking L’s. Difference is, we didn’t do that against an AFC team in our division like the Bengals. #SilverLining

Final Thought: It was a bad loss and a bad look, no getting away from that. That said, I do not think this is an accurate glimpse of what this team is or will be this season. I think the team ate their humble pie and will be fired up against a division rival who just won a "huge game." In a way, this loss could be a blessing in disguise as the year progresses. Time will tell. Go Steelers!!!

The opinions shared here are not those of the editorial staff of Behind the Steel Curtain or SB Nation. These posts are not approved in any way by the editorial staff of this web site.