Good Tuesday to you Steelers fans.
Obviously I’m going to start with what transpired in Cincinnati last evening. At the time of this writing, Damar Hamlin remains in critical condition at University of Cincinnati Hospital. The same hospital that our Ryan Shazier was rushed to when he was paralyzed. Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest on the field. His heart stopped beating. Medical professionals were able to get his heart beating again before he left the field in an ambulance. As for the game itself, the NFL made the right call – the only call – to postpone the game. If you were watching this live as I was, I was immediately struck with the facial reactions of the Bills’ players. This was not a normal ‘a player is down’ situation and you could see it on their faces. From Stefon Diggs to Josh Allen you just knew this was something much greater than a guy with a broken bone. Hamlin is from Pittsburgh, McKees Rocks to be more specific, and went to Pitt. He recently started a Go Fund Me page to raise $2,500 for a toy drive in his hometown. That page is now over $3 million dollars. If you’d like to donate you can click here. As for the game itself, the Bills returned to Orchard Park last night. My guess is that this game will not be made up but I’m also not naive either. The NFL is a business. They will try their hardest to get this game played. I can tell you one thing, it would be nice if Roger Goodell, the Commissioner of the NFL, got in front of a camera and expressed his thoughts but apparently that’s asking too much. Thoughts and prayers out to Damar Hamlin.
Steelers’ Head Coach Mike Tomlin will address the assembled media today at Noon Eastern. He will update us on any injury concerns from Sunday night and will look ahead to the Browns. That game will be played at 1pm Sunday. The players have today off as per normal.
Tweet of the Day… Enough said.
Please pray for our brother.
— Josh Allen (@JoshAllenQB) January 3, 2023
What Has to Happen
It’s really quite simple folks. The Steelers have to win. The New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins must lose. If those three things happen then the Steelers will be the seventh seed and would play the number two seed. If any of those things do not occur, the season will be over and the Steelers will be on to 2023.
The Hard Truth
There are two things that are both true about the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense. First, the two comeback drives led by rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett were awesome. Spectacular. Thrilling. You name it. Second. This offense is not good. The Steelers ran the ball well sure, but they aren’t converting that into points. What’s my point? My point is that oftentimes things get overlooked. Because the offense got up from its sleep-like state to win back-to-back games it almost feels like we are forgetting that the unit has been awful. Yesterday I wrote about how the defense is playing winning football right now, especially when you look at the low number of points they’ve surrendered the last six weeks. Only because of their efforts had the offense even had the chance to win games. This tells me that the offense remains a young, inexperienced unit being run by a guy in Matt Canada who just isn’t getting it done.
Football is Family
People often laugh at the above mantra. They laugh because the National Football League is a business first and foremost. No one really cares about “family” when there are billions of dollars to be made. If you ask players however about “Football is Family” they’ll give you a decidedly different take on it. These guys spend literally six and sometimes seven days a week together. From July through January or in some cases February, these players ARE their own family so when something like this happens, the money and the fame no longer matter. The business side no longer matters. Oh you can guarantee the business side of things will take over because there are still games to be played but for now, let’s focus on the family side.
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