Gene Collier: Is there an exit on the Steelers' road to 7-10?

Gene Collier, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Football

PITTSBURGH — Fans of the macabre are no doubt disappointed there are no opponents on the Steelers' remaining schedule that can deliver a result as ghastly as that to which they're suddenly accustomed.

Unless the NFL schedule can be instantly rejiggered to include the Steelers against one-win Carolina, which has the worst record in the league, or someone can arrange one of those Acrisure Stadium beatdowns of Wofford that Pitt seems to favor, then we're stuck with some absolutely unprecedented post-mortem implications.

At least I can't find a single instance, anywhere in this Rooney venture going back 90 years, in which the football team lost to a 2-10 team on Sunday, then lost to another 2-10 team four nights later.

At home.

Granted, that's a little more dramatic as presented than it needs to be. Until the '60s, the entire NFL season was 11 or 12 games, and it wasn't until 1990 that the NFL instituted bye weeks, and only then was it even possible to play teams with identical records back-to-back.

Am I saying it's not as bad as it sounds? No, it's every bit as bad as it sounds.


The Steelers woke up a week ago with a 7-4 record, in solid playoff position, and were facing back-to-back games against teams with a combined record of 4-19, one of which would be shut out 6-0 in the next few hours.

Today their only semblance of momentum is that which propels them toward 7-10, because if you can't beat these tawdry versions of Arizona and New England at home, whom can you beat?

I know. Wofford. Maybe.

Like every NFL team in every December ever, the Steelers have a built-in excuse, even for unprecedented ineptitude — injuries. And to be sure, when you're snagging inside linebackers by hanging around AARP meetings, you're in trouble defensively.


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