It’s hard to decipher what was the most painful moment during last Sunday night’s Steelers vs. Cowboys game. Was it the fumble, the interception, or the added stress of overtime that led to another Pittsburgh loss? Regardless of which nightmare you choose, I was cringing for far too long. Actually, I think I’ve been cringing this entire season now that I think about it.
With the Steelers resting uncomfortably at an unfamiliar 7-7, they are now on the cusp of facing, not to mention needing to beat, both the Bengals and the Browns in what will be the make or break games for a shot at the playoffs, landing them at 9-7.
I can’t remember a time Pittsburgh didn’t make the playoffs. Then again, I tend to block out those horrific rarities.
Against the Bengals this week, the Steelers will still be without veteran cornerback Ike Taylor for the third straight game. Taylor, who before this ankle injury never missed a game during his entire 10 years with the team, is said to be preparing to come back in another week or two. I hear he is beyond antsy over there on the sideline.
The team will also be missing cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke, who is now on injured reserve after separating his shoulder during the matchup against the Cowboys last week. By the way, this injury report déjà vu is exhausting to report each week. I demand no injuries next season…a reasonable request.
Luckily there is some good news, as Cortez Allen is expected to both practice this week and play on Sunday after missing the Cowboys game. Keenan Lewis will also return after an aggravated hip injury in Dallas. Another light of hope came today as the team signed veteran corner Justin King. King is in his fourth season and was drafted by the St. Louis Rams during the fourth round in 2008. He has played in 35 games over three seasons.
Despite the avalanche of recent losses, I can’t help but point out that nearly every game has been close for the Steelers this season. The fact that out of 14 games, eight have been decided by just a measly four points or less is promising, right? Or does that actually make it worse? I’m still undecided (and cringing).
Clearly they have the wins in them, they just need to dig a little deeper.
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