The Steelers Lose Three Straight after Undefeated Start
The Pittsburgh Steelers suffered their 3rd straight loss at the hands of the almighty Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football. After staring the season 11–0 with hopes of an undefeated year and Super Bowl aspirations, Big Ben Roethlisberger, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and the gang have plummeted back down to earth and back into reality.
Pittsburgh was taking the league by storm through the first 12 weeks of the NFL season. They were dominating their schedule and head a fully healthy roster. They looked everything like the Steelers of 2017–18. Granted their schedule was filled with middling teams, they looked dominant, nonetheless.
Many football analysts were singing the praises of the Steelers while others were not convinced. Again, the Steelers hadn’t played great competition through their 11–0 start. Their most impressive wins came against the Browns, Titans, and Ravens twice. Aside from that, they had wins over the Bengals, Cowboys, Giants, Eagles, Texans, Broncos and Jaguars. Albeit the saying goes ‘You can only play who is on your schedule’ While this narrative is not false, the Steelers schedule has been one of the weakest in the entire NFL.
This led to many skeptics saying that the Steelers are frauds and their undefeated record at 11–0 is not reflective of the team they truly are. Those skeptics have been proven correct over the past three weeks. However, this trio of losses have not come against the best competition either. They lost to the Washington Football Team in primetime, they lost to the Buffalo Bills… in primetime, and the mot recent loss coming in…. you guessed it… primetime to the Joe Burrow-less Bengals.
All three of these losses looked worse than the one preceding it. The Washington game, the Steelers had the lead for much of the firsts three quarters and even into the 4th. After their all-pro linebacker, Bud DuPree went down with a non-contact knee injury, Alex Smith and the Washington Football Team found their groove and started to mount a comeback. The comeback was finished off by Washington’s great, young defensive line who were frustrated Big Ben and the Steelers for much of the 2nd half.
Their 2nd loss came against their stiffest competition of the season in the Buffalo Bills. Neither team could get any offense going in the first half and it looked like we were in for a low scoring game filled with punts back and forth. That is until there was a minute to go in in the first half with the Steelers leading 7–3, Roethlisberger threw an interception that the Bills returned for a touchdown to take the lead. After missing the extra point, the Bills went into the half leading 9–7. The game was ugly for both teams, but the late first half interception gave the Bills all the momentum they needed to beat down the Steelers in the 2nd half for a 26–15 victory.
The last of the Steelers three game losing streak was ugly. They looked nothing like the team we had seen through the first 12 weeks of the season. The Bengals were out for vengeance. A division rival with no chance of playoff contention in Cincinnati was only playing to be spoilers. Although the Steelers are most likely locked into a playoff spot, the Bengals and Steelers have a historic past of bad blood between them. Not to mention the fact that JuJu Smith-Schuster has gone on a tirade of creating ‘Tik-Toks’ at mid-field sometimes on the opposing team’s logo prior to games. This pre-game dance party from the Steelers wide receiver has been all the motivation opposing teams need to go out and perform on the field. The Bengals led this game from wire to wire and finished off an impressive 27–17 victory improving their record to 3–10–1 while the Steelers fall to 11–3.
Looks like the Pittsburgh Steelers were frauds all along… We will see if they can right the ship through the remaining two weeks of the season.