There are a number of reasons why I waited four days to publish a recap of the Steelers' most recent game against the Baltimore Ravens while the football-mad readers likely gorged on the post-game writeups at some of my more immediate colleagues like so much stuffing and turkey.
To start, there was the loss itself, and my own emotional hell during such happenings. We also had just done a recap days prior with the short week that a Thursday night game brings. THANKSGIVING was in everyone's faces making any recap have the reach of about two readers due to family squabbles and tryptophan. Plus, Thanksgiving led directly to the weekend and yeah right like I'm gonna think about that loss with words on the Internet on the weekend.
But mostly, with a record that now sits at 5-7, I wanted to wait until the majority of the games finished this weekend to see how the Steelers' precarious playoff position stands after certain games shook out.
And on a personal level, that picture above helped keep me away from my recap for a little. The immediate gnashing of teeth over if Mike Tomlin intentionally interfered with Jacoby Jones' long retun sort of drowned out some of the scarier happenings in that game, such as Le'Veon Bell being knocked out by legal headhunting and the Steelers losing their second reliable starter of the season.
So I'm choosing to forego the standard "rate a few players" MMCNY recap style because CRUSHING LOSS and I'd feel like a butcher rating Le'Veon Bell for his incredible game and nice-looking stats when he was nearly decapitated and obviously concussed late. It sort of puts the maniacal emphasis on stats in perspective when guys are almost killed by two helmet-first-launched missiles in a play protected by the rulebook. Plus, I couldn't be a complete poser and skip writing a "recap" after a loss. So this is more or less a record that the game happened, the Steelers lost and playoff hopes may have evaporated with Fernando Velasco's placement on the IR and Le'Veon Bell's helmet flying to the stratosphere.
However, Pittsburgh welcomes the Miami Dolphins to town next week, and their game was one of the few I was watching this weekend to see how it ended. They beat the Jets to move ahead of the Steelers at 6-6, but that record is moot should Pittsburgh win this Sunday. The other Wild Card logjam game I was waiting on was Bengals-Chargers, and San Diego's loss helps the Steelers by dropping Phil Rivers and company to a similar 5-7 record that keeps them below the Steelers in the race for that final playoff spot. It's kind of weird rooting for the Bengals to win such games now with the division crown hopes long gone, but a Chargers loss helped Pittsburgh much more.
A Steelers win over the Dolphins this weekend coupled with a Ravens loss would tie everything back up in that final Wild Card spot and let all those confusing tiebreaking scenarios pop back up and still keep the Steelers out, but I root for chaos and anarchy, which is what we've unfortunately had to witness in this Steelers season through 13 weeks. With all the injuries and crappy games and horrible losses, things could still get interesting over the final four if Pittsburgh can pull out a few wins.
Now I drop this recap like a a failed two point conversion, and move on to Dolphins week. They looked pretty bad against the also-horrid Jets, so maybe Ben and Co. can throw a stick in the spokes of the AFC and see what happens.