They were down and out. Embarrassed. Garbage.
The hot joke on Twitter. The meme everyone was ready to fire off to make fun of the skidding Steelers, myself included. The first half against the Indianapolis Colts were no different. Holy shit was it bad. No offense. Getting picked a part on defense. Down 21-7 at half.
We were almost ready to throw in our collective Terrible Towel's and even more so when the Steelers finally started to show some life in the 3rd quarter with 1st down at the Colts 1. Got nothing.
WHAT THE HELL.
But they stayed the course. They stayed positive. They got fed up and said it's time to finally make a play against what some call the best defense in the NFL. And they did. AFC North Champs. At worst 12-4. A home playoff game and finally starting to figure some things out offensively. That's the beauty and the pain of the NFL season. It's long, it's grinding, it's grueling, but at the end of the day these Steelers right now will go down as division winners with the chance to do more.
Let's hand out some game balls:
Besides the Buffalo game TJ has been one of the lone bright spots on this team during the skid. Today was no different. A sack on the first series, a strip sack to set up the Steelers first touchdown, and a tackle for a loss. He'll be up there for DPOY.
The guy has just been so damn good all season. Pittsburgh's defense definitely missed him a lot when he was out. Today had two big pass breakups, consistently helping in run defense off the edge, and then the interception that let the Steelers run some clock. Love watching Mike play.
He's been the talk for the last three weeks from myself included. All the dancing. All the off the field dramatics. JuJu was so good today. So damn good. Big catch after big catch in the second half, his block allowed Ebron to get in the endzone, and he made one hell of a contested catch for the game-winning touchdown. Way to go, JuJu.
I said it myself after watching him play in person on Monday night in Cincy - I had never seen him play that badly. First half was no different again. Whatever juice / pep talk he had at half may end up potentially going down in Steelers history as the trick that turned the tide for the 2020 Steelers. He came out in the second half and finished 34-39 with 342 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 turnovers including two absolute dimes for touchdowns to Diontae Johnson and the game-winner to JuJu.
People have called me crazy all year and sometimes in the last three weeks I've doubted it myself, but this team goes as far as 7 takes them. If he plays like he did in the second half, they're a tough, tough out. If he plays like the first 30 minutes - bye bye Steelers.
At the end of today, though, he played like he did in the second half, the Steelers came back down 17 for the first time EVER with Big Ben, and won the AFC North avoiding a nightmare scenario of playing for the division next week in Cleveland.
Hey Colts fans, maybe we'll get a couple more men on the moon before yinz win in Pittsburgh again.