Last night's game was a re-run. We have seen the Steelers in that movie so many damn times at this point. I mean if you squint hard enough while watching the first 50 minutes of every game they play, you could easily mistake them for the Iowa Hawkeyes playing a dreary 11 AM game against some other Big Ten West also-ran where you might as well call the game if somebody gets to 20 on the scoreboard. Trust me, I don't mean this as a compliment.
With that said… the more and more they continue to pop that VHS in the ol' video machine and subject America to eye sore after eye sore… the more you start to question things. Maybe that Iowa comparison should be a compliment. They pull the opposition into the mud every week and make them look like a Northwestern or a Minnesota or an Illinois, and then more times than not they make the one or two plays that make the difference.
Where common sense should step in is virtually every statistic that exists about the Steelers (besides their record) suggests they flat out STINK. This "outgained" stat is pretty appalling.
Only 34 teams in NFL HISTORY have ever been outgained in each of their first 8 games and this year's Steelers are one of them. They also have the 2nd worst total net yards in the league. Only the Broncos are worse. Obviously the points on the scoreboard are what determines the winner, but yards are the currency by which the game is dictated. They constantly show up at the auction lot with less money to offer than their opposition and end up walking away with the car. How???
Their point differential isn't much better. -30 suggests they should probably be around a 3-5 football team. Yet… last year they went 9-8 with a -38 differential. The year before that they went 9-7-1 with a -55 differential. Playing into that, of course, is their streak of failing to reach 400 yards offensively, which has now reached 56 games and dates back to early 2020. It's an astounding streak of futility, and somehow they're 33-22-1 in that stretch. It makes no sense.
All of that is to say that Mike Tomlin is some sort of voodoo witch doctor. It absolutely pains me as a Baltimore guy to say this but the guy has supernatural powers. You don't put up the run he has without them. I'm talking about 15+ years of the same old shit. I can sit here and bash the guy and laugh on Sundays at some of the comically idiotic in-game decisions the guy makes… but he's got the sauce. He keeps his guys in games and then weird football stuff happens.
Opposing guys drop a billion passes (looking at my Ravens) and opposing coaches lose all sensibilities (like Vrabel and Levis running the play clock down to :00 on 3rd and 4th down near midfield with less than 3 minutes left, time they desperately wish they could have had back on the final drive) and their dog water of a quarterback suddenly turns into Joe Montana for one drive… these things happen over and over and over again where you simply have to throw common sense out the window and acknowledge it simply doesn't apply to them.
I'd love to sit here and think that it'll all catch up to them…. but I've learned better at this point. And the louder I yell "FRAUD", the more ridiculous it gets. So here I am. They're freaks and they're here to stay. They're going to be a thorn in the side of every team they face the rest of the way, and I fully expect them to come to Baltimore in Week 18 with a shot at the division title. And I'd be lying if I said I feel comfortable with that.
Freaks. They're freaks.