Week 15 of the NFL season was a splendid punch in the gut for some teams, and some of these playoff hopefuls are not getting back up. The 2020 playoff structure is different this year with only the top seed getting a bye. Just one month ago, we were expecting a return to postseason glory. Monday night, we saw the Pittsburgh Steelers get taken to the woodshed by the broken down Cincinnati Bengals. I am so sorry for your loss Pittsburgh Steelers, but your season is over.
Most of the NFL fair-weather fans already unbuckled their seatbelts and jumped off the Steeler bandwagon. Pittsburgh was on top of the league for the whole season and is now in the midst of a three-game skid. Week 15 saw the Pittsburgh Steelers get served by a Bengals team that dropped a backup QB and RB. Losing to the Cincinnati Bengals is something that is both hilarious and empowering, to the rest of the league.
Maybe it was the decades of non-threatening gameplay that lulled the Steelers into complicity against the Bengals this time? Whatever it was, Pittsburgh was able to drop two yards of offense while Big Ben was actually 4-10 for -5 yards. When they weren’t punting the ball away, Tomlin’s crew was coughing the ball up to the Bengals for a couple of turnovers. Roethlisberger looked so confused running the offense in the first half, he probably would have preferred a cross-examination.
Despite the complete lack of execution in the first half, the Steelers bounced back in the game late in the third with a TD score making it 7-17. Just when we thought the real Steelers and the real Bengals were showing up, Cincy drained the clock with an 80-yard drive. They capped things off by beating the blitzing pressure and having Finley break loose for a 23-yard score. Nothing like having a back up’s back up exposes the injuries and assumptive greatness of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The final score certainly looked a bit more respectable with the courtesy of garbage time. Make no mistake, the Steelers offense has completely lost their way. Can they rebound in time for a deep playoff run? It is more appropriate to ask if there’s enough duct tape to hold this pipedream in the steel city together.
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