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Steelers stress staying 'even-keeled' during tumultuous start to season

Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Football

Cam Heyward has a warning for anyone who is ready to push the panic button after three games.

"Point me in the right direction," the Steelers defensive captain said.

Heyward has been around long enough to know it's way too early in the season to get overly excited about a victory and too down about a loss. The 1-2 Steelers are a perfect example.

There was no reason to get too amped about an opening victory on the road against a Super Bowl participant. Or too despondent after back-to-back losses to the New England Patriots and Cleveland Browns.

For proof, he said, just look at what goes on each weekend in the NFL. Or, more specifically, what happened on Sunday while the Steelers were recovering from their Thursday night loss in Cleveland:

The unbeaten Buffalo Bills, who had already beaten two 2021 playoff teams by a combined 72-17, lost in Miami to the Dolphins, a team they had beaten nine of the previous 10 times.

 

The unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs lost in Indianapolis to the winless Colts, who were 0-2 and had been shutout a week earlier in Jacksonville.

The Jaguars, who had lost 18 consecutive road games dating to 2019, went to Los Angeles and hammered the Chargers, 38-10 — the most points they've scored in 35 games. "And the Chargers are no slouch," said safety Terrell Edmunds.

"The NFL is so competitive," center Mason Cole said. "Teams have gotten so much better schematically, and personnel has gotten so much better. The saying 'any given Sunday' is no more true than it is right now in the NFL."

Indeed, after three weeks of the season, 28 of the 47 games played (not counting Monday's Dallas-Giants game) have been decided by one possession, including 10 of the 15 on Sunday. The Steelers are a prime example. All three of their games have effectively been decided by one score, if you don't count the touchdown they handed the Browns on the botched lateral play at the end of the game.

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