The Black and Gold's nerves may be calmed but, as Pittsburgh prepares to host Tampa Bay, Steelers Nation must first wrestle with these 5 Burning Questions:
1. Let's accept two things: Passing is the NFL's wave of the present and the future. Credit the quarterback for the Steelers victories in Super Bowls X, XIII, XIV, and XLIII.
Now, with that understood: When you saw the Steelers offense go into full-blown Road Grading Mode vs. Carolina, didn't a little voice in the back of your head say, "God, it feels good to watch some real Steelers Football again...?"
2. Penalties bedeviled the Steelers during their infamous eight-quarter stretch without a touchdown. But Neal Coolong has said that David DeCastro's defense of Justin Brown was absolutely the right thing to do, penalty be damned. Agree or disagree?
3. Our own PaVa SteelersFan has stepped out to do some amateur numerology and he senses something mystical in the way the stars are aligning around James Harrison's return. Regardless of whether you buy into our scribe's sixth sense or not, how do you rate the move to bring back Silverback?
4. Last year we had Le'Veon Bell and Emmanuel Sanders doing end zone backflips. This year, Antonio Brown and LeGarrette Blount have added a hurdling wrinkle to their rushing styles. Do you think Mike Tomlin should lay down the law on this this as he did with the backflips, or are you comfortable seeing Steelers backs and receivers live out their Olympic track dreams on the gridiron?
5. Following the Panthers game, ESPN's Scott Brown quoted Brett Keisel as saying this:
Hopefully we can enjoy this win and not be like, ‘Ah, we're the greatest team ever.' We've got to continue to stay grounded. We've got to continue to work hard. We've got to continue to have a chip on our shoulder and continue to work like we're underdogs.
Keisel's attitude is undeniably the right one. But if memory serves, he made similar statements following the 2012 road upset of Baltimore. We know what happened next.
Next up, the Steelers face the 0-3 Buccaneers and the 0-3 Jaguars. Although I'm an unapologetic Tomlin supporter, the stark reality is trap games have been an Achilles heel for him (see last year's trip to Oakland's Black Hole just to start.)
How concerned are you that the Steelers will suffer a letdown?
There you go folks. Have at it!