Sunday, October 16, 2011

Will the real Steelers please stand up?

Today, the Steelers are seeking their first home victory over Jacksonville since 2001, when they were still AFC Central rivals.

It's funny how quickly things change from week to week in the NFL. At this time last week, I wouldn't have been surprised if the Steelers had lost to the Titans. Now, I'm thinking the Steelers better damn well beat the Jaguars, who have scored just five touchdowns this season.

So I've gone from resigned to the Steelers falling to 2-3 to expecting nothing less than 4-2. I'm glad I don't, um, overreact to any single win or loss.

In all seriousness, I don't think I overreacted to their loss to the Texans. In a way, it reminded me of their early-season loss in Philadelphia in 2008.

Why am I bringing up a game that happened three years ago? Because the Steelers won the Super Bowl that season, and let's face it, the Lombardi Trophy is the standard in Pittsburgh.

The 2008 loss in Philly, in which Ben Roethlisberger was sacked nine times (nine times, as Dan Rooney's distant cousin Ed Rooney would say), and this year's loss in Houston were similarly discouraging. But if the Steelers could recover from that debacle in '08 and win the Super Bowl, they can do the same thing this season.

The real 2011 Steelers are somewhere between what we saw two weeks ago and what we saw last week. To provide further evidence that they're more like the team we saw last week, they'll need a convincing win over the Jaguars today.

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