As a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, I totally understand. Our postseason right now hangs in the balance. To make the playoffs, three things have to happen. Pittsburgh needs to defeat Baltimore in Baltimore this Sunday. The Indianapolis Colts have to lose to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Jacksonville. And the Chargers-Raiders game on Sunday night can NOT end in a tie.
I’ve seen crazier results in a competitive game of HORSE.
But it can happen.
And even if it doesn’t happen, there are still some Steelers storylines that bear consideration.
Last night, TJ Watt had four sacks on Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. Not only was it Watt’s first-ever four-sack game, it gave Watt 21.5 sacks on the year, only one full sack away from tying Michael Strahan for the record for most sacks in a season. And before someone snarls that Watt’s playing in a 17-game season, while Strahan set his record in a 16-game contest, take into consideration that Watt missed a couple of games due to injury, so he could still tie or surpass Strahan’s record while doing so in fewer games.
Last night, Steelers rookie phenom Najee Harris broke the team’s rookie rushing record, surpassing another Steelers legend named Harris – Franco, to be precise. Harris has been an absolute godsend for the Steelers this season, and he deserves serious consideration for Rookie of the Year. And he capped off last night by running all over the Cleveland Browns like they were cracks in the sidewalk.
Steelers kicker Chris Boswell recently passed legendary Steelers kicker Roy Gerela for third all-time in most points scored by a Steeler, career. He’s currently 152 points away from second place, which would surpass Steelers kicker Jeff Reed. The record is 1,353 by Gary Anderson, but I’ll settle for Boswell snagging second place in 2022. Or at least getting a few more long-distance field goals at Heinz Field.
And Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, the man for which the standard is the standard, is now assured of another season where his team finished the year with a .500 record or better. In 15 years with Pittsburgh, Mike Tomlin has NEVER suffered a losing season. And the 2021-2022 season continues that streak.
Oh yeah, and then there’s the quarterback. And I will acknowledge his 18-year career with the Black and Gold, and hope that he plays well enough that this upcoming Sunday won’t be his final contest. In fact, during his 18-year career, he’s only quarterbacked the Steelers in TWO regular season games in which Pittsburgh had been mathematically eliminated from the postseason. That’s strong right there. And I do acknowledge that there will come a time when his name will be mentioned among the elites in Canton. May as well make room for him.
But for now, the Steelers still have a chance to control their own fate. Win Sunday against the Ravens. Hope Jacksonville grows a pair and takes out Indy. And hope that the Chargers and Raiders don’t collude their way into a tie.
The season’s not done yet. And I’m definitely good with that.