Steelers Week 10: Cheers, Jeers, & Fears
As the second half of their season starts, the Pittsburgh Steelers have an opportunity to clinch an important first-round bye in the AFC playoffs, something they haven’t done since 2010.
The Steelers’ quest to a No. 1 seed and home-field advantage starts with a matchup against a struggling Indianapolis Colts team this Sunday.
The Colts are coming off of just their third win, but the team was dealt a crushing blow with the news that Andrew Luck will not return this season.
Instead, Pittsburgh will have to deal with a shifty Jacoby Brissette who is capable of making plays but is very inconsistent.
This should be a game where Pittsburgh dominates from start to finish.
Here are my cheers, jeers, and fears for the week 10 game against the Colts.
Even though they were on a bye, last week was a successful week for the Steelers in their quest for an AFC North division title.
Every other team in their division lost, and Pittsburgh is starting to distance themselves from the pack. The closest team to them is the Ravens who are currently sitting at 4-5 on the season and 2.5 games back of the division lead.
The Bengals are unraveling, and the Browns just did the most Browns thing ever. As my dad said, “Only the Browns can find a way to lose on a bye week.”
With a few winnable games ahead of them on the schedule, Pittsburgh could wrap-up a second-straight division title early in the season.
Stop giving us heart attacks every Sunday.
Pittsburgh has played in four one-score games this season, and in the other four, although they had the game in hand, I never felt comfortable.
This comes down to my overreaching season-long jeer of red zone efficiency.
I’ve talked about it. I don’t want to continue to dwell on it.
They need more touchdowns and fewer field goals when they get in the red zone. Boswell, I think you’re great, but I’d rather see you kicking PATs and not 24-yard field goals.
Missing out on an opportunity to roll into the playoffs with a bye, and possibly home-field advantage.
Pittsburgh finishes its season with what might be the easiest schedule in the NFL. Only three of their final eight games are against teams who currently have a winning record.
Those three games are against Green Bay, Tennesee, and New England.
All of those games are at Heinz Field where Pittsburgh — and Big Ben — have historically played their best football. The late-season matchup against the Patriots could decide who gets home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Steelers should be favored in every game going forward, and yes, even against the Evil Empire.
My fears are that Pittsburgh falls into old habits and continues to play down to their opponents level. It has happened frequently and has to be one of the most frustrating things to watch as a Steelers fan.
(Besides not being able to watch them on normal TV.)
The Steelers have a great chance to finish the season with the best record in the NFL. With that would come much-needed home-field advantage in the playoffs, plus a first-round bye.
Veteran leadership and health will be key to success down the stretch.
We have a lot of football yet to play, and I’m excited to see how it all shakes out.
For this week, the Colts are no match for the Steelers if they show up in the right mindset. Pittsburgh has more skill all around and is clearly the better team.
With that said, Pittsburgh might look a little sluggish out of the gate but pulls away late in the game.