The Steelers are done. After being summarily dismissed by the Baltimore Ravens, 27-0, it is officially a wrap. With all of the mediocrity in this year’s AFC (Jacksonville 6-5, Cincinnati 6-5, Denver 7-4 after starting 5-1, Kansas City 7-4 (beaten by Pittsburgh 45-7)), the Steelers were unable to find an identity and mount a semblance of a run this season. Following pathetic losses to the Jaguars, Bengals, Falcons, Raiders and Broncos, this turnover prone version of the Steelers have been put out of their misery by their hated rivals.
The Ravens won the battle of the line of scrimmage and walked off with nine sacks and even more pressure than anyone in black and gold cares to remember. Questions ahead for the Steelers include who will coach the team next year, who will protect Ben from himself and other defenses, who will be the primary target on 3rd down, how will Hines Ward overcome his nagging injuries, and where will the team get a boost for a flagging defense that spent too much time on the field this season.
It will be at least April before these questions are all answered satisfactorily. There is work for this team to do in the NFL draft – and there is work for the coaching staff to do in preparing this team to rebound from a dismal season. 2006 will likely be remembered for as long as 2005 and for an entirely different set of reasons.
Drawn and Quartered??