"THIS IS WHAT SUPER BOWL TEAMS DO THEIR CLUTCH TJ!!!"
You'll have to excuse the crazy all-caps, the poor grammar, and the lack of punctuation, but the sentiment, well, I'm buying-in 100 percent.
The quote to start this piece was a text from my brother shortly after kicker—and superhero—Chris Boswell connected on a 53-yard, last-second field goal to give the Steelers a 31-28 victory over the underdog Packers at Heinz Field on Sunday night.
Boswell's heroics, which set a franchise mark and tied the mark for longest field goal in Heinz Field history, were fitting, since he, like so many of his teammates, might have left you frustrated and wanting to throw things earlier in the evening, after he missed an extra point following the game's first touchdown.
Many of Boswell's teammates, the ones that dropped passes, missed tackles, and blew assignments in the secondary, probably compelled you to attach one of those laughing emoticons to this article if you read it on Facebook.
You're probably thinking, "A Super Bowl team does what? Struggles against a two-touchdown road underdog that’s missing its franchise quarterback in Aaron Rodgers?"
For the record, the Packers were also missing accomplished outside linebacker, Clay Matthews, and some other key components when they arrived at Heinz Field on Sunday evening.
Also, for the record, Green Bay, a team now quarterbacked by Brett Hundley, wasn't exactly a shining example of offensive prowess in the ensuing weeks since Rodgers sustained a broken collarbone against the Vikings on October 15—including suffering a shutout home loss to the Ravens only seven days prior.
Everyone had a right to expect the Steelers to plaster the Packers much the same way they did the Titans on November 16.
But as weird as this might seem, since the Titans are actually leading their division, Green Bay isn't Tennessee.
Much like Pittsburgh, the Packers are a football organization of high pedigree, complete with a loud, expansive and proud fan base, as evidenced by the cheers that filled the Pittsburgh air each time the visitors made a play Sunday night.
Furthermore, Green Bay is led by an accomplished head coach in Mike McCarthy, a man who has won a Super Bowl and competed for several others during his career.
In other words, if you thought the Packers, at 5-5 and still clinging to playoff hopes with Rodgers nearing a possible return, were going to just roll over and play dead for a second week in a row, you were sadly mistaken.
Again, though, the Packers were a huge underdog (that lesser competition), and they should have been dispatched pretty quickly, right?
I bet you wanted to throw something after cornerback Artie Burns, who, just moments earlier, kept the Packers’ first offensive series alive by getting called for a hands-to-the-face infraction, completely blew his assignment and left receiver Randall Cobb open on what turned out to be a 39-yard touchdown pass from Hundley.
Later in the first period, you probably wanted to punch Ryan Shazier in the head after he failed to cover running back Jamaal Williams on a screen pass that quickly turned into a 54-yard touchdown. Fortunately for you, the ultra-talented inside linebacker appeared to do that to himself on the sidelines, shortly after Williams' score.
You may have wanted to smack cornerback Coty Sensabaugh early in the third quarter when he bit on a double-move and left receiver Davante Adams wide-open for what turned into a 55-yard touchdown pass.
All throughout the course of the game, you may have wanted to throw something at someone (but hopefully not at Eli Rogers and Jesse James because they would have dropped it), thanks to those visitors, with their loud and boisterous road fans, taking the action to Pittsburgh for most of the evening.
You no doubt were frustrated by the missed tackles and the three turnovers—including two interceptions by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and what seemed to be a crucial fourth-quarter fumble by running back Le'Veon Bell.
And after the Packers answered what appeared to be a coffin-nailing 33-yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown with 8:42 to go by almost effortlessly driving 77 yards on 12 plays to tie the score at 28 with 2:02 remaining, you may have just wanted to go to bed.
But things happened during the final 2:02 that should convince you of the Steelers’ Super Bowl worthiness.
For starters, there was rookie T.J. Watt's sack of Hundley shortly after Pittsburgh had to punt the football right back to the Packers with 1:20 remaining.
Admit it, you were likely expecting the worst when the youngster Hundley, who had already passed for 245 yards and three touchdowns, took over deep in his own territory.
Being a storied franchise, the Packers certainly have their fair share of—well—storybook endings.
Going on the road and knocking off a heavy favorite on the arm of your lightly-regarded, backup quarterback would have been a fitting chapter to add to the archives.
However, thanks to that rookie outside linebacker with the great bloodlines, Green Bay had to play for overtime.
With just 17 seconds remaining, and starting from their own 30, it sure didn't look like the Steelers would add a storybook ending to their own storied archives (at least not in regulation).
But there are rookies, and then there are all-time greats; the latter might one day describe No. 84.
I don't know about you but, even when it looked as if Brown was way out of bounds on a 23-yard pass from Roethlisberger with 13 seconds remaining, I certainly wasn't surprised when I saw the replay and realized Brown got both feet in bounds and maintained possession all the way to the ground.
Thanks to the aforementioned sequence of heroic events, the Steelers did, in fact, outdo Green Bay in the storied franchise department on Sunday night.
Speaking of storied franchises, the Steelers’ last-second heroics on Sunday reminded me of the final moments of that memorable game at Heinz Field in 2008, when Heath Miller and Deshea Townsend teamed-up to send the Cowboys and their faithful back to Dallas with heavy hearts after it appeared they'd be going home with one more victory.
Sunday night's finish might not have given you similar warm-and-fuzzies, but it’s worth noting Pittsburgh had some adversity of its own to wade through in Week 12—namely the absence of its top cornerback, its No. 2 receiver and its starting right tackle.
Every team has problems, and every team has flaws.
But not every team is a Super Bowl contender.
The 2017 Steelers—flaws and all—appear to be doing what Super Bowl teams do.