Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Truth About the Steelers

By Artistry

A couple of games into this virtually unwatchable NFL season, we noted that the Steelers were one Ben Roethlisberger injury away from being Cleveland. Little did we know that we were a subsequent Byron Leftwich self-inflicted rib trauma away from agreeing with Cleveland.

But that shouldn't obscure a larger truth about this team: it's about as durable as the love of a Bachelorette.

Clean-up of JEF's heart on aisle 5.
The Steelers have averaged almost 10 players a week on the injury report. Mike Tomlin press conferences have turned into lengthy recitations of names and corresponding battered body parts.

"Antonio has an ankle. 'Shard has a heel. Ben has an aorta. Troy has a calf."
Lots of teams have long injury reports, you say. True, but usually they don't mean anything. Take the Baltimore Ravens in Week 12. They had 16 names on the injury report, and 13 of those players were listed as "probable."

Contrast that with Pittsburgh, where Ryan Clark, David Decastro, James Harrison, Rashard Mendenhall, Jonathan Dwyer, Troy Polamalu, Marcus Gilbert, Lamarr Wooley, Maurkice Pouncey, Isaac Redman, Stevenson Sylvester, Jason Worrlds, Antonio Brown, Byron Leftwich, Jericho Cotchery, Willie Colon, Mike Adams, and Ben Roethlisberger have all missed time. Most of the starting lineup has been out for multiple games.

Does any of this mean we won't make the playoffs? No. Even if we concede this week, Ben can come back reasonably healthy in week 14, we can win 3 of the last 4 against the Chargers, Cowboys, Bengals, and Browns, and the bet here is we get in. But will it be painful to watch? I'm afraid that as far as that question goes, the standard is the standard.

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