Almost a year after deciding not to go for a two point conversion against the San Diego Chargers because he "didn't want to put [it] on tape," Mike Tomlin finally unveiled the special play against the Baltimore Ravens last night. Unfortunately, there is now (more) tape of Emmanuel Sanders dropping what was a tough -- but very catch-able -- game-tying pass.
The quick summary of the game is that the Steelers were terrible for a half, clawed their way back late, never got the back-breaking turnover they needed from Joe Flacco, and came up a Young Change Purse drop (or two) short of having a legitimate shot at getting a wild card spot in the AFC playoffs. Now the season is basically over, unless the Steelers win out and about six other crappy teams in the AFC go 8-8. The latter is likely; the former is not.
Mike Tomlin has done an admirable job of covering kickoffs and keeping a fairly untalented team very competitive. Early in the season when the Steelers were 0-4, there was a lot of talk about how it would be great if the team bottomed out and got a top-5 pick in the draft. But there's something to be said for the idea that losing breeds more losing. The Steelers pride themselves -- deservedly so -- on always being competitive and never being embarrassing. After starting 0-4, that pride was in serious jeopardy. Though the Steelers almost certainly won't make the playoffs, they never stopped playing like they thought they could. There have been embarrassing moments along the way, and there may still be more to come. But Tomlin & Ben & the Lord Ben Points To have put to rest any notion that the franchise itself is becoming an embarrassment just because they may not make the playoffs.
|The Pittsburgh Steelers: Always lurking.|