Originally posted on This Given Sunday  |  Last updated 10/6/12

PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 06: James Harrison #92 of the Pittsburgh Steelers gestures during the game against the Oakland Raiders on December 6, 2009 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The Steelers have are in rough shape. At 1-2, the team has looked lost much of this season, especially on defense. Despite dealing with key injuries to James Harrison and Troy Polamalu, we still expect the Steelers to play great defense, and that's something they haven't done this season.

Although the aforementioned players will be back in action on Sunday, it still looks like the Steelers may have too steep of a climb to make it back into the playoffs in 2012. Their defense is aging, and it finally seems to have caught up with them. They had the Raiders shut down in the first half a couple of weeks ago, but they were unable to get Oakland off the field in the second half. Combined with an inability to put more points on the board, the Steelers gave away a game they had no business losing.

The offensive side of the ball is something of a conundrum too. They have big play threats all over the field, but they've been unable to open up the field. The Steelers are getting into shootouts with their opponents, and they're not able to keep up.

Pittsburgh's schedule is anything but a cupcake lineup. They play the Eagles this Sunday, they face the Bengals and Ravens twice apiece, they visit the Cowboys and the Giants, and to top it off, they host the San Diego Chargers. That's eight very difficult games. In other words, they're going to have a very tough time finding ten wins in this season's schedule.

That being said, the Steelers have made a habit of stringing wins together. It's a long, tough road to travel, but this team has navigated a very difficult division for years, and they remain a consistent fixture in the postseason.

The Steelers defense will get a significant boost from the return of Harrison and Polamalu on Sunday afternoon. Michael Vick has struggled at times this season, and the Steelers have to be ready to capitalize on any mistakes Vick may make.

When it's all said and done, I don't think we'll be seeing the Steelers in playoffs this season. They've been off their game from the get go, and unless they fixed most of their issues during their bye week, getting a couple of defenders back on the field won't make a big enough difference for the team. I've been wrong before about this team, but don't be surprised if they don't quite make it into the playoffs. Still, it seems safe to believe they'll still be in the discussion come December.


Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 takeaways from Super Bowl 50

Was firing Jeff Hornacek the wrong move for the Suns?

Panthers picked wrong day to play worst game of the season

Was Peyton Manning paid for Budweiser mentions?

Cam Newton walks out of postgame press conference

Eli did not look thrilled after Peyton locked up Super Bowl


Rick Reilly sends awkward tweet during Super Bowl 50

Peyton Manning gives Papa John a kiss after game

Panthers' Josh Norman crying after losing Super Bowl

Peyton Manning ‘going to drink a lot of Budweiser’ after win

Where Peyton Manning ranks among Super Bowl era QBs

Peyton Manning declines to comment on possible retirement

Cam Newton proves again he is a great winner and terrible loser

Steph Curry trolls himself with Jordan face meme

Winners and losers from Super Bowl 50

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Aqib Talib wipes out on NFL Network

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Five biggest boneheaded plays of Super Bowl 50

WATCH: Cam Newton gives questionable effort to recover fumble

Lions say Calvin Johnson's future still not determined

How Louisville basketball bungled their self-imposed ban

Ted Ginn Jr. whiffs on football twice on one play, results in Panthers turnover

Kony Ealy makes one-handed interception of Peyton Manning

Mike Carey gets another call wrong on incomplete pass in SB

NFL 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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker