By Bill Williamson
Updated: 7:18 p.m. ET Oct 31, 2006
Remember last season, when the Steelers came back from a 7-5 record and won the entire thing?
It was one of the NFL’s most celebrated late-season turnarounds. If the St. Louis Cardinals are lauded for winning the World Series title after an 83-78 record and choking down the September stretch, the Steelers’ championship run after starting 7-5 is just as impressive.
The Steelers were in a terrible position — and they would kill to be that position again.
The Steelers are 2-5. Defending that Super Bowl title appears bleak at best. That’s right, Bill Cowher’s team would have to win their next five games to be 7-5, the same lousy predicament they fought out of last season.
It’s not going to happen. The Steelers are done.
There’s no way a 10-win season will be enough to make the AFC playoffs, which means the Steelers need to win every remaining game. An 8-1 finish wouldn’t be good enough. The Steelers’ push to win out begins Sunday, against Denver. A much better Denver team. An angry Denver team that just got nipped by the Colts at home.
Good luck, Pittsburgh. The Steelers’ problems also run much deeper than their immediate opponents. They have their own, pressing issues at hand.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is struggling mightily. Big Ben was dominant in his first two NFL season because he didn’t try to take over. He was a part of a mistake-free offense. Now, after the motorcycle accident, an emergency appendectomy and the concussion. Big Ben is a big mess.
He’s not a part of the solution. He is the problem. He has thrown 11 interceptions and the Steelers are 1-5 with him playing. People are calling for Charlie Batch. Yes, Charlie Batch.
Things are bad in Pittsburgh. The season is lost. It’s over. The Steelers may have proven a 7-5 record in December is not an impossibility, but they are going to prove this year that a 2-5 record at Halloween does signify the end."