The only thing consistent about the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2012 season is the fact that they have been ridiculously inconsistent.
For the second straight season, the Steelers lost in week one, this time in Peyton Manning’s return to the NFL after missing all of 2011. Going into week two, the New York Jets were coming off of a blowout victory over the Bills and the Steelers ensued to win handily 27-10. After evening their record at 1-1, most thought the team would be able to take care of the Oakland Raiders in week three. Well the Steelers lost that game and when they came off of their bye week they came out and won against the Philadelphia Eagles who were 3-1 at the time. Sitting at 2-2 the Steelers again were expected to roll over a bad team in the Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football and again the team lost.
At this point the Steelers were at 2-3 going into their first divisional game of the season against the Cincinnati Bengals. The team would proceed to win their next four games against the Bengals, Washington Redskins, New York Giants and Kansas City Chiefs. Even in those four victories however, the Steelers were inconsistent.
Coming off of a big win against the Bengals the Steelers took on Robert Griffin III and the Redskins and the game would have been a lot closer if not for the fact that Washington receivers dropped ten passes. Then the team came back and other than a bogus fumble return touchdown, the Steelers controlled the Giants for their third victory in a row. Again, the Steelers were favored big versus the Chiefs and although the team won, they looked terrible throughout the game. Not to mention Ben Roethlisberger was lost to injury in the game which forced him out of the next three.
The Steelers sat at 6-3 going into their first matchup with the Baltimore Ravens and even without Big Ben, if not for a punt return touchdown, they would have won the game. The team then followed their first divisional loss with another one against the Cleveland Browns.
Without Ben Roethlisberger the Steelers offense looked awful and no one really thought the team had a chance against the Ravens the second time around with Charlie Batch. Batch came through for the Steelers and led the team to a victory bringing the Steelers record to 7-5.
Ben Roethlisberger made his return against the struggling San Diego Chargers and the team went on to play maybe their worst game of the season. Losing by ten, at home, to the Chargers, did not prevent most from picking the Steelers to beat the Dallas Cowboys. The game was back and forth and all Antonio Brown had to do was hold on to the ball during a punt return and the Steelers would have won the game.
This brings us to present time where the Steelers sit at 7-7 and needing to win their final two games to make the playoffs. Their first opponent is the Bengals who are coming off of a shellacking of the Eagles last week and are currently ahead of the Steelers for the last wildcard spot. Losing four out of their last five games has left the Steelers looking in disarray and not poised for a Super Bowl run. This is the reason why the Steelers will beat the Bengals this week.
Every time the Steelers have had expectations this year they have underperformed and disappointed. Right now, the Steelers’ backs are against the wall and I fully expect them to come out and beat the Bengals. Even with all the injuries in the secondary on defense, I have faith in Ben Roethlisberger to get the offense going with whatever plays Todd Haley calls.