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In the NFL, and for the Pittsburgh Steelers, there doesn't always have to be a caveat

The Pittsburgh Steelers are 8-5 and primed for another December to remember as they make their final push to the postseason. What is funny is how many discredit victories in the NFL.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

It can be frustrating. Running a website dedicated to a specific team forces you to constantly have your finger on the pulse of that particular team. For me, that team is the Pittsburgh Steelers, obviously. The frustrating aspect of the job has nothing to do with the team and their performance, but rather the irrational reaction following a game. Sometimes this reaction is from fans of the opposition, but there are also instances when it comes directly from the people who claim to live and die with their favorite team.

This all came to a head following the team's Week 14 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in a very physical, hard fought game at Paul Brown Stadium. The majority of fans rejoiced, but there was a pocket of fans who lamented the win since the Bengals had lost their starting quarterback early in the first quarter.

"Probably would have been a different story if Andy Dalton hadn't gone out."

"Steelers need to beat a team who actually has their starting quarterback available."

"The Steelers let AJ McCarron look like a Pro Bowler."

I could go on, but I think you get the picture. To be fair, it is natural for a fan base of the losing team to cling to excuses such as these to help ease the pain of their most recent defeat. Fans of the black and gold have done their share of that this season.

In Week 1 after losing to the New England Patriots:

"If we had Le'Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant the Steelers would have won the game!"

After the Week 7 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs:

"If Ben Roethlisberger is in the lineup there is no way the Chiefs win."

The honest truth is this, in the NFL there doesn't always have to be a caveat after a win, or a loss. Some fans almost reacted as if the Steelers should apologize for the fact Andy Dalton fractured his right thumb while trying to tackle Stephon Tuitt after he threw an ugly interception.

Why? It wasn't their fault this injury happened. Their job is to win football games, and this is exactly what the team has been doing over the past several weeks.

The same was said when the Steelers demoralized the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday Night Football when Matt Hasselbeck looked every bit of 40-years old on the prime time stage. Some are even starting to sing a similar tune with the Denver Broncos coming to town with Brock Osweiler as the quarterback and not the future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning.

For those who practice such a thought process, do you think the Baltimore Ravens felt bad about beating the Steelers at Heinz Field with Mike Vick at quarterback? Do you think the Chiefs lamented the thought of beating the Steelers with Landry Jones under center? Go back to 2005, did the Steelers hang their head when they beat Jon Kitna in the Wild Card round of the AFC Playoffs when Carson Palmer was hurt in the early portion of the game?

The answer to all these questions is a resounding 'No'. The line between winning and losing in the NFL is razor thin, and no player or coach would ever discredit a victory, regardless of the situation. While some will still sit and shake their head in regards to situations like this, sometimes a win is just a win. Fans should learn to embrace them as they come, because for some they don't come often...just ask the Cleveland Browns.