The Steelers 2013 season,can pretty much be summed up by the final play Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. Antonio Brown’s near miracle finish was very much a microcosm of the up and mostly down season that the Steelers have had.
When the play began it developed slowly, and when Marcus Gilbert took the pass from Le’Veon Bell things looked bleak but then Gilbert found Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger somehow found Antonio Brown and suddenly there was hope..
Brown came bursting out of the crowd and down the sidelines for the apparent game winning touchdown only to find out he had grazed the sideline at about the 13 yard line.
So many times this season, the Steelers have begun games slowly and just when you thought there was no hope they would give you just enough to believe that there was a chance only to come up short in the end.
Sunday’s game was no different. The Steelers began slow, dug their way out of the hole they made only to come up short in the end.
The sad truth is good teams don’t lose games like this to mediocre teams at home during must win situations.
The Steelers only consistent trait this season may be they have lost games they needed to win to mediocre teams most of the season.
The Steelers have had more than enough opportunities this season to prove they are a playoff worthy team. Heck, even with a disappointing 0-4 start the Steelers had a chance to control their own destiny only to squander each and every opportunity .
The Steelers have lost to plenty of bad teams this season, The Tennessee Titans (5-8), Oakland Raiders (4-9) and even the lowly Minnesota Vikings (3-9-1) to name a few.
There are reasons for this inconsistent, underachieving, and plain bad play and they are many. Injuries, inexperience, questionable game planning, and aging are high on the list.
It seems the Steelers have found a way to lose at each and every phase of the game . Offense,defense, special teams, players and coaching have all been guilty at one time or another.
Season-ending Injuries to center Maurkice Pouncey and linebacker Larry Foote hurt this team early on and changed the total dynamic of the season on offense and defense.
The Steelers spoke of zone blocking schemes all summer but that went out the window with Pouncey’s injury.
The Steelers defense came into the season with very little experienced depth especially at the inside linebacker position and Larry Foote is a key in setting up the defense. The Foote injury also effected Troy Polamalu causing him to play more of an inside linebacker-like role this season.
Injuries can’t be an excuse for a team that proudly proclaims “The standard is the standard”.
The reoccurring theme this season has been a case of too little ,too late and that’s not characteristics of a winning team.
Over the next three weeks we shall see who the true players are.