Good one, Steelers.
You really had us going for a while, there.
Starting the 2013 season 0-4? C’mon.
That hasn’t happened since 1968.
This is one hell of a practical joke you’re pulling on us.
Losing to the 0-3 Minnesota Vikings 34-27 in London? A team that allowed at least 31 points in all three of its previous games? A team with perennial bedwetter Matt Cassel replacing Christian Ponder at quarterback?
You’re pulling our leg.
The Steelers haven’t led by more than three points this season and have gone almost three full games without having any lead? Why, that would mean they’re a bad football team.
And we love the one about the Steelers, with a healthy Troy Polamalu and LaMarr Woodley, not forcing any turnovers through four games. You’re telling us that the Vikings, with 10 giveaways through three games, kept the ball safe and sound against the Steelers defense.
Stop. You’re killing us.
The only other team in NFL history that hasn’t forced a turnover through four games is the 2005 Houston Texans, and they went 2-14.
The Pittsburgh Steelers couldn’t possibly have anything in common with a 2-14 team? Could they?
Hey, we’re good sports. A lot of side-splitting comedy has been created in England. We can get into the spirit of these NFL games in London and play along.
What’s that? You’re telling us Ben Roethlisberger has been sacked 15 times through four games?
That’s another knee-slapper.
OK, we knew the Steelers offensive line was inexperienced and that protecting Roethlisberger would be a concern like it is every year.
But 15 sacks through four games? Not even Roethlisberger has been sacked more than 50 times in a season. Most of us aren’t math teachers but we can figure out that 15 sacks through four games puts Roethlisberger on pace to be sacked 60 times this season.
We’re laughing so hard we have tears in our eyes.
If Roethlisberger really was sacked 15 times in September, the Steelers might as well sit him for the rest of the year. Just chalk up 2013 as a throwaway season, make sure Roethlisberger doesn’t suffer a career-ending injury and start fresh next year.
That’s not going to happen, though, because we know you’re kidding us.
If Roethlisberger really were getting sacked that many times it would mean the Steelers whiffed on all those first- and second-round draft picks they used on offensive linemen. That’s impossible because the Steelers never, ever, ever miss on draft picks.
Are we on “Fool Britannia?” Where are the cameras?
This prank has gone on long enough. You can stop screwing with us now.
This isn’t funny anymore.
You … mean … this isn’t a joke?
No, this is a sobering reality.
The only joke here is the Steelers. They are the laughingstock of the NFL. The New York Giants, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars (that’s right, the Jaguars) are the Steelers’ only company at 0-4.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was unwittingly funny when he explained why the Steelers weren’t flying out to London until Friday. He said he values “normalcy” early in the week, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Well, “normalcy” for the Steelers this season has been a loss every week.
So the Steelers practiced in Pittsburgh Wednesday and Thursday and arrived in London Friday, not much more than 48 hours before the game.
LaMarr Woodley told the Tribune-Review that he would have liked to get to London earlier. As if fatigue weren’t enough to deal with, many Steelers had media obligations in London Friday and Saturday.
The Vikings, on the other hand, had been in London since Tuesday.
No one can say for sure that the Steelers lost Sunday because of their itinerary. But they sure looked jet-lagged when Greg Jennings turned a short reception into a 70-yard touchdown. Opposing offenses have been throwing those short passes for years to neutralize the Steelers’ blitz, but the Steelers usually keep those plays in front of them.
And do teams really need to run those plays anymore? The Steelers have just four sacks this season, tied for last in the NFL.
That touchdown gave the Vikings a 10-0 lead less than seven minutes into the game.
The Vikings restored their 10-point lead early in the second quarter when Adrian Peterson ran 60 yards for a touchdown to make it 17-7.
Peterson is the reigning MVP of the NFL, but he should have been stopped on that play. The Steelers defense looked like it could have used a little more rest when Peterson slipped through would-be tacklers as if they were coated with slime.
The Steelers fell behind 34-17, but battled back and came within six yards of tying the game. But like last week against the Chicago Bears, they dug themselves too deep of a hole. Roethlisberger was sacked for the fifth time and coughed up the ball with 19 seconds left.
Good teams don’t put themselves in desperate situations like that.
The last time the Steelers were 0-4, Chuck Noll was an assistant coach with the Baltimore Colts.
Maybe it’s time for someone to tell the 2013 Steelers what Noll told the 1969 Steelers when he was hired as head coach.
He said that most of them wouldn’t be around much longer.
And that was no joke.