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Steelers can’t let Pennywise the Quarterback beat them

Normally, this is the kind of week where we wave the caution flag about a Steelers letdown.

The Steelers take their 2-0 record to Chicago Sunday to face the 0-2 Bears, who are in the bottom 10 of the NFL in points scored and points allowed.

On one hand, the Steelers have been bitten by so many underdogs over the last half-decade that it’s hard not be a little apprehensive about this game.

On the other hand, when was the last time the Steelers lost to a really bad team?

It seemed like they did when they lost at Miami, which was 1-4 at the time, in Week 6 last season. But that was the start of a six-game winning streak for the Dolphins, who finished 10-6 and visited the Steelers in the AFC wild-card game.The Steelers didn’t lose to a team last year with a record worse than 7-9, and that was at Philadelphia in Week 3. The Eagles improved to 3-0 with that win and weren’t a bad team at the time they played the Steelers.

Last season was the first since 2011 in which the Steelers didn’t lose to a team with a record of 5-11 or worse.

But just when we think the Steelers are past the point of stumbling against inferior foes at least once a year, we’re once again haunted by a face from the embarrassing past.

No, Mike Glennon doesn’t have the “It” factor as a quarterback. But his freakish height (6’7″) and cone-shaped face make him about as scary-looking as Pennywise the clown, even if the Bears were anything but penny wise in signing him to a three-year, $45 million contract.

Glennon, you may recall, led the winless Buccaneers to a 27-24 comeback victory over the Steelers at Heinz Field in Week 4 of the 2014 season. It was one of just two wins for the Buccaneers that year.

If “It” can come back and haunt Derry, Maine every 27 years or so, Glennon could resurface after three years and torment the Steelers once again.

Is John Fox sure it isn’t time for Mitchell Trubisky to make his debut as an NFL starter?

Better yet, how about Trubisky enters the game to replace Glennon because the journeyman quarterback is no match for the Steelers defense?

DeShone Kizer and Case Keenum have combined for 326 passing yards and one touchdown against Pittsburgh. The Steelers must continue to take advantage of the fact that they haven’t faced a real quarterback yet. If another NFL bottom feeder coaxes them into the sewers like Georgie Denbrough, they could be staring .500 in the face when they head to Baltimore.

As long as Joe Flacco is healthy, losing at Baltimore is no paranormal phenomenon for the Steelers, it’s an occupational hazard. Ben Roethlisberger is just 2-6 in his career there as a starter. The Ravens’ home-field advantage will be a little compromised this year because they’ll be coming off a game at London on Sunday. They asked the league not to give them the customary bye the week after their London game, but they probably didn’t think about the possibility of the Steelers awaiting them after their trip across the Atlantic.

Still, we can’t count on wins at Baltimore when trying to map out the course of a Steelers season. The Steelers have lost there four years in a row, and if a loss there this year drops them to 2-2, they’ll look like just an ordinary team and not a Super Bowl contender.

For that matter, wins at Chicago can’t exactly be penciled in on the rare occasions that the Steelers play at Soldier Field. They’re 7-18-1 all-time against the Bears, their lowest winning percentage against any NFL team that still exists (they lost their only game against the St. Louis Gunners in 1934), and they’re 1-11 at Chicago.

The Steelers’ only win in the Windy City came in 1995, 37-34 in overtime. The players held hands on the sidelines when Norm Johnson kicked the winning field goal. It was the second of eight straight wins in a year in which the Steelers reached Super Bowl XXX.

The Steelers should win their 10th straight regular-season game Sunday without any hand-holding. This isn’t the Losers’ Club. There should be no need to stand in a circle holding hands vowing to reunite if Glennon ever again becomes the stuff of Pittsburgh nightmares.

If history tells us that it takes Super Bowl-caliber talent for the Steelers to win at Chicago, well, the Steelers can provide more evidence that they have just that.

Follow Mike @Steel_Tweets.

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  1. Mike Batista

    I didn’t say they’d be .500 when they went to Baltimore, but that they would face a strong possibility of falling to .500 if they went to Baltimore with a 2-1 record.

  2. Boris

    “If another NFL bottom feeder coaxes them into the sewers like Georgie Denbrough, they could be staring .500 in the face when they head to Baltimore.” – It’s impossible for the Steelers to be .500 when they get to Baltimore.

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