Found November 26, 2012 on isportsweb.com:
Let’s hope we never have to see this again. Yesterday was one of those days that, at around 4:15, you looked around and recognized that you’d just lost 3 hours of your life that you’d never get back watching a train derail in a most ugly fashion.  The Pittsburgh Steelers went into Cleveland, turned the ball over 8 times, committed 11 billion penalties, and lost to a Browns’ team that they had beaten 16 of the last 17 times they’d played.  Combined with Norv Turner sucking Baltimore’s win in San Diego, the Steelers are effectively done in the race for the AFC North division title and, as such, will need to win 3 road games to make the Super Bowl…if they even make the playoffs. If you’re reading this, you saw the comedy errors for yourself.  You saw 4 different running backs all fumble, with the Steelers losing a total of 5 for the day.  You saw Charlie Batch throw three picks and demonstrate arm strength at which a good high school QB would snicker.  You saw Mike Wallace continue to mail it in at WR, you saw an offensive line that got no push in the run game, and you saw a valiant effort by the defense wasted for the second straight week.  The yinzers are lining the bridges in Pittsburgh this morning, there is no doubt. The Steelers, however, are not done.  While the chances of repeating 2005′s run to the Super Bowl by winning 3 road games are obviously remote, to write this team off at this stage would be reactionary, premature, and just plain silly.  Here are several reasons why the Steelers will still be a factor in the playoffs in 2012: 1.  Injuries.  The team that lost to Cleveland yesterday was as injury-riddled as any Steelers’ team in memory, with the Steelers playing without Ben Roethlisberger, Troy Polamalu, LaMarr Woodley, Antonio Brown, Willie Colon, Marcus Gilbert, Jerrico Cotchery, and Byron Leftwich (add in David DeCastro, who still hasn’t played this season, the Steelers had over $40 million of players out of the lineup).  Woodley, Gilbert, Brown, and Colon all should return by Sunday, and Ben is 50/50 to make it back for the Ravens.  Everyone has injuries in the NFL, but the spate of injuries to KEY personnel for the Steelers is simply unprecedent and impossible to overcome.  The reinforcements are coming, beginning this week, and that alone will make this a far more formidable team. Ryan Clark has been the best player on the 2012 Steelers’ defense. 2.  The Defense.  For whatever reason, the 2012 Pittsburgh Steelers defense is one of the most underrated units in the NFL.  The Steelers are giving up only 257 yards a game, far and away the best in the NFL.  By way of comparison, the Bears rank 3rd at 307 yards a game…and they are closer to 20th (Indianapolis at 355 yards a game allowed) than they are to the Steelers.  This defense doesn’t get the publicity that many Steelers’ defenses of the past received, probably due to the injuries and declines of stars like Polamalu, Harrison, and Woodley, but only the 2008 defense allowed fewer yards during the last decade of dominant defensive teams.  Ryan Clark and Lawrence Timmons have had sensational seasons, and Ike Taylor has bounced back from a slow start to be a complete shutdown corner.  If they ever get Polamalu and Woodley healthy and if the signs of life shown yesterday by Harrison are real, the unit will only get better. 3.  The Schedule.  This topic is posted with a great deal of hesitation, as this team has managed to lose to the Raiders, Titans, and Browns this season, thereby proving that they can lose to anyone.  That said, however, 3 of the final 5 games are at home and only the Ravens and Bengals have winning records among the remaining opponents.  Even if the Steelers lose in Baltimore on Sunday, with games against the Chargers, Cowboys, Browns, and Bengals to close the season and with 9 wins figuring to be enough to make it in, they will be in solid position to make the playoffs. 4.  The AFC.  The four division winners in the AFC are done before December even starts.  Houston, New England, Denver, and Baltimore will be the four division winners, period.  The race for the two Wild Card spots comes down basically four teams: Indianapolis (7-4), Pittsburgh (6-5), Cincinnati (6-5), and Miami, sort of (5-6).  The Colts’ final five games include Houston twice and at Detroit, thus it’s hard to see them finishing better than 9-7 (unless Houston has the #1 seed locked up by the last week of the season and mails it in against the Colts).  The Bengals already lost to the Steelers in Cincinnati, and the Steelers should stave off the Bengals as long as they beat them in Pittsburgh on December 23.  The Dolphins are the Dolphins, plus they still have to play New England twice and San Francisco.  Simply, if the Steelers finish 9-7, as long as they beat the Bengals on December 23, they will make the playoffs barring Cincinnati running the table in its other 4 games. Yes, things look bleak today.  No, I wouldn’t put money on the Steelers making a deep run in the playoffs.  However, those writing the Steelers 2012 season off at this point are doing so very, very prematurely.  The team is hurting, but it’s not dead.  Not even close.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Ben Roethlisberger Says He Honestly Doesn’t Know If He Will Be Back For Ravens Game

The Pittsburgh Steelers sorely need to get quarterback Ben Roethlisberger back as soon as possible and there is a possibility that it could happed this next week against the Baltimore Ravens. Roethlisberger, who has missed the last two games due to dislocated rib and right shoulder injury, hopes to play Sunday in Baltimore. "I'm going to try," Roethlisberger told...

Report: Roethlisberger likely won’t play this week

According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, a source within the Steelers organzation has told him that he would be “shocked” if quarterback Ben Roethlisberger plays this week against the Ravens. If the Steelers have to go with Charlie Batch once again this week, they’re in big trouble.   var _CI = _CI || {}; (function() { var script = document.createElement...

Ben Roethlisberger Still Unlikely To Be Ready To Play Against Ravens

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday during his press conference that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw on Monday and that the door was still open for him to play Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens. While that sounds like a very optimistic outlook, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported via Twitter on Tuesday after Tomlin talked to the media that...

NFL Rumors: When will Ben Roethlisberger return for the Pittsburgh Steelers?

The Pittsbugh Steelers need help. They need Ben Roethlisberger under center and soon, or else any hopes of post-season play will drift away. Roethlisberger has been sidelined with rib/shoulder injury he suffered against the Kansas City Chiefs and now the second meeting against the Baltimore Ravens is looming on Sunday. Reports have suggested that Roethlisberger will start light throwing...

Steelers Will “Ease” QB Ben Roethlisberger Back Into Practice

The Pittsburgh Steelers aren’t rushing QB Ben Roethlisberger back into the lineup, allowing him to work his way onto the practice field at his own pace according to Jason La Canfora. “We’ll leave the door open for him. He has a chance,” said Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. “We’ll let the results of that [week's practice] work lead us in the direction we could potentially...

Ben Reothlisberger says he’s “going to try” and play against the Ravens

After Sunday’s loss to the Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was asked if he’s going to play next week against the Ravens. “I’m going to try,” said Roethlisberger, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “It’s killing me to watch.”If the Steelers are going to have any chance at getting one of the two wild card playoff spots this season, they’re...

Ben Roethlisberger Could Return For Week 13′s Game Against Ravens

According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger “just may” be back in time for the team’s Week 13 matchup against the Ravens. Roethlisberger has been out since Week 10 after he suffered both shoulder and rib injuries against the Chiefs. Ben is expected to resume practicing this week, and based on his pain tolerance and range of motion, the team will...

Steelers still in position to make the playoffs

The Steelers have had it rough the last couple of weeks, dropping two straight while the Cincinnati Bengals have closed the gap in the wildcard race. Ben Roethlisberger's status is still up in the air for this weekend's game against the Ravens, but even with another loss, the Steelers aren't in terrible shape in the playoff picture. The Steelers have a couple of key...

Tuesday Ten

Despite no Ben Roethlisberger and the Browns scoring only 20 points off seven Steelers turnovers is inexcusable, but a win over Pittsburgh is a cause for celebration nonetheless.

Pittsburgh Steelers and the number 7

The number seven has much significance in the city of Pittsburgh. There are many connections, large and small, good and bad, obvious and not-so-obvious. Regardless of their nature, all these connections are pointed at the most important seven, Super Bowl Championship No. 7. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger wears number seven. The team misses him, as they are win less since his injury...

It's Ben Or Bust

Mike Prisuta went to Cleveland to find out the Steelers need Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback.

Report: Roethlisberger has a 50-50 chance he’ll play this week

According to ESPN’s Ed Werder, there’s a 50-50 chance that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will play in this week’s game against the Ravens. I’m told that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is 50-50 to start Sunday against the Ravens. — Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) November 27, 2012 After losing this past week, the Steelers are now 6-5 and must win this week’s...

Steelers’ Loss to Browns Doesn’t Mean This Is 2009 Redux

Let’s see, the Pittsburgh Steelers are without Ben Roethlisberger and Troy Polamalu. They showed some promise earlier this season with a four-game winning streak that got them to six wins. Then they lost two straight, including a defeat in Cleveland to a woeful Browns team. Now they’re 6-5 and losing their grip on a playoff berth. Sounds an awful lot like 2009, doesn’t it?...

Steelers should be better prepared to face Ravens, in theory

Even with everything that went wrong in week 11 when the Ravens came into Heinz Field and took a close victory away with them, 13-10, the Steelers had a chance to win at the end. That was without guys like Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Troy Polamalu, and others. This coming Sunday when the two rivals face off in Baltimore, the Steelers should be, in theory at least, better prepared...
Steelers News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.