Sunday, December 20, 2009


The Pittsburgh Steelers go up against the Green Bay Cheeseheads today in a matchup at Heinz Field that earlier in the season no doubt had the network executives drooling. Thus the reason for the 4:00 start. The unexplainable swoon that has enveloped yer Steelers over the past five miserable games has derailed what could have been a memorable matchup into the first inconsequential contest for the Steelers since their memorable Bill Cowher sendoff season.

All around Steelerland, the same question echoes in a resounding din: "What's wrong with the Steelers?"

What makes this five game swoon most perplexing is that the Steelers looked to have as strong and talented of a lineup as they've had in any of their recent championship seasons. So what went wrong?

It seems that in that famous "book" that all NFL teams keep on their competition, the storyline on the Steelers chapter is that since the injury to Troy Polamalu, their defensive ace, the Steeler secondary, as a whole, has been exposed as being very weak. Teams that in the past may have attempted to establish a running game now waste even less of their offensive plays on runs. Instead, they tend to throw more and more each week against a seconday that seems to regress even further each game.

As proof of the weakness of their secondary, it is mind-boggling that their cornerbacks have not intercepted a pass all year. Of course it's pretty tough to do that when you're five yards behind the receiver you're supposed to  cover, so speed has definitely been an issue with this group. Add to that the fact that they have no hands either and you have a grounds to believe that this secondary, minus Troy Polamalu, is one of the weaker groups in the league.

Add to this an offense that has become very predictable and very un-Steeler-like and you have the recipe for a five game losing streak. During that skein, the team has also allowed long kick returns and in general has not shown the trademark energy and hitting that has long been its' calling card.

So incredible has been this total shutdown by the Steelers that it leads one to believe that this team has serious internal dissension...and I'm not even referring to the Hines Ward-Big Ben tiff. No, as amazing at it seems to say this, it appears that this team may be revolting against Mike Tomlin himself.

Is it possible that just like another Mike, Michael Therrien, the Steelers players have grown weary of Tomlin's macho image and hard-guy attitude?

If the Steelers mail in another game like the last five, I would take that to be a resounding "YES". With a dart-thrower like Aaron Rodgers coming to town, don't expect many running plays from the Packers today. Brace yourself for a lot of booing from Steeler nation too. I could get ugly.

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