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Steelers tendency to play to competition might help now

San Diego Chargers v Pittsburgh Steelers Getty Images

The bad news for the Steelers is that they’re near the point of needing to win out to make the postseason.

The good news is that their next two games are against teams with winning records, which seems to get their attention. Their next two are against the 7-6 Cowboys and Bengals, each of whom have won four of five.

When we’re playing great teams like the Giants, we’re fired up,” Steelers cornerback Keenan Lewis said, via Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “When we play the teams with the lower records, we’ve got to find a way to play with the same intensity.”

That should make the regular season finale against the Browns interesting, but the Steelers have shown a clear trend toward playing to the level of competition.

They’ve beaten the Ravens (9-4), Bengals, Giants (8-5) and Redskins (7-6) but lost to the Browns (5-8), Titans (4-9), Chargers (5-8) and Raiders (3-10).

“We have to correct this thing and make a commitment,” linebacker Larry Foote said. “We are who we are, and we’re 7-6, so we have to turn it around.”

Of course, the best advice came from veteran Brett Keisel.

“We’ve got to play better, especially coming down these final few games, or we’ll be watching (the postseason),” he said. “If we win games, we’ll be able to play in the tournament.”

There are scenarios which include the Steelers getting in at 8-8, but the way they played last week against the Chargers, winning two doesn’t look like anything they can count on.

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28 Responses to “Steelers tendency to play to competition might help now”
  1. stoogy says: Dec 11, 2012 9:54 AM

    This is a bad team. They have an overrated QB, no running game and its not so much them playing down to compatition as it is more likely the compitition is playing down to thier level,

  2. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Dec 11, 2012 10:03 AM

    Actually, Pittsburgh can get in at 7-8-1 — provided they tie Cincy in Week 16; Cincy goes 0-2 in Weeks 15 and 17; the Jets go 1-2 down the stretch; and the tiny remainder of those 5-8 AFC teams don’t win out.

    The key is that Pittsburgh must beat Cincy in Week 16 when we play the Bengals at Pittsburgh — and then, not go 0-2 in Weeks 15 and 17, against Dallas and Cleveland, respectively.

    Not looking past Dallas — but we have a very ominous threat looming for Week 16: CIN DT Geno Atkins versus the tattered shell of Pittsburgh’s interior OL. Legursky regularly gets man-handled, and Atkins is a monster. Colon is likely done for the year. We lost DeCastro, and there are no reports he’s anywhere close to being ready.

    It still irks the crap out of me that we had Colon hobble out there to try and play in the Charger game. Same old story. Rush wounded warrior onto the field, watch his compromised play for maybe a quarter or so — before his injury gets profoundly aggravated, shutting said player down for an extended period. When will we ever learn??? WILL we ever learn???

  3. steeler999 says: Dec 11, 2012 10:10 AM

    There definitely is a pattern with this team losing to lesser teams. At some point the finger has to be pointed at the coaching staff for not getting the team ready to play. And for all the talent this offense is supposed to have, including a franchise quarterback, they do not score consistently enough. Big Ben was playing during the Oakland, Tennessee and charger losses, and struggled at home int the first half against possibly the worst team in the league, the Chiefs. Elite quarterbacks don’t let that happen.

  4. ocgunslinger says: Dec 11, 2012 10:15 AM

    This is a winning franchise and still has great leadership. Don’t count them out until the fat lady sings.

  5. ratbirdsrule says: Dec 11, 2012 10:19 AM

    they might beat the browns this time.

  6. jmp527 says: Dec 11, 2012 10:21 AM

    stoogy says:
    Dec 11, 2012 9:54 AM
    This is a bad team. They have an overrated QB, no running game and its not so much them playing down to compatition as it is more likely the compitition is playing down to thier level

    Ben is in no way overrated. He is never mentioned in the talk of “elite qb’s” but has 2 Super Bowl rings. The running game is an issue. As for playing down to the level of their competition, this falls on the coaching staff. Tomlin has to find a way to get these guys jacked up to play the Browns.

  7. giahead33 says: Dec 11, 2012 10:24 AM

    They will make it to the post season, then all the teams need to look out, the steelers will be healthy, and ticked off at how they played in the regular season….Big Ben is an elite Qb that can win the big games, he has 2 rings to prove it. This is still a very high caliber team that can win the big game….don’t ever count out the steelees, most everyone did in 05 and look what happened!!

  8. steelersownyou says: Dec 11, 2012 10:29 AM

    Stoogy is a raiders fan that lives in pittsburgh and has nothing else to do because his raiders have been irrelevant for over 40 years! He lives a sad life and is quite pathetic. All he has left is to post negative rants on steeler posts.. it begs the question. How can a person be this pathetic???!

  9. dickson29 says: Dec 11, 2012 10:31 AM

    Continuous penalties, losing to teams we should of won, and a continual pattern of both of these bad actions is a problem with the coaching. Something has to change.

  10. ravenator says: Dec 11, 2012 10:32 AM

    This team has no substance. They are overrated, overpaid, and overhyped every single year. Whats happened the last two years? Swept, Tebowd out of the playoffs. This year they can barely play above .500 losing to inferior opponents week in and week out. This couldnt have happened to a more deserving team.

  11. ravenator says: Dec 11, 2012 10:32 AM

    Playoffs? Don’t talk about the playoffs! They wont make the playoffs

  12. stoogy says: Dec 11, 2012 10:42 AM

    jmp527: The yinzers in western pa always call him an elite QB and a 1st ballot HOFer. I love how the yinzers wanna call Tomlin one of the best coaches in football when they win and want to bad mouth him when they lose. Please make up your mind.

  13. steeldominance says: Dec 11, 2012 10:50 AM

    Steelers will play more games than the Ravens this year. If you want to talk about the past we could discuss how many rings flacco has compared to ben. This is the time of the season the steelers get hot and the ravens fizzle. Already see signs of it with the firing of cameron.

  14. Steeler's Will-enator says: Dec 11, 2012 10:58 AM

    I don’t think the ‘good’ teams Pittsburgh beat were really that good when they played.

    Fact: If the playoffs started today, Pittsburgh would have to get really lucky to beat Pats, Broncos, Texans, Colts. I like their chances against the Ravens but that’s it.

  15. myroncopesflask says: Dec 11, 2012 11:03 AM

    As a lifetime steeler fan this trend of trying to out crap a crappy team is something fans have been dealing with for a long time. I undertand that Mike Tomlin is never going to get fired over this but ultimately doesn’t this fall on the head coach. I am actually a big Tomlin fan but i just think he should get called out by the local media. That will never happen as anybody who challenges any member of the steelers leadership group (Rooney/Colbert/Tomlin) will be subject to persecution and possible revocation of press pass.

  16. hart6399 says: Dec 11, 2012 11:10 AM

    Ravenator is back. His mother’ s basement must have flooded again…rendering his harry potter futon bed useless. You better get back to your Joe flacco blow up doll. He is next to leave Baltimore after Cameron got the boot.

  17. stoogy says: Dec 11, 2012 11:23 AM

    Steelers owns you: 34-31 ring a bell? Raiders own steelers check the head to head if you can figure out how to. I’ve said it last week steelers finish 1-3 beating the browns, now that doean’t evem seem possible. Im glad your precise Ben is back. He looks great!

  18. olcap says: Dec 11, 2012 11:24 AM

    When asked in the presser why he didn’t go for a two point conversion to then give the Steelers the opportunity to play for TWO scores to even things up, instead of three scores, but instead only went for a one point conversion, Tomlin said (paraphrased) “I didn’t think our defense could stop them three times”, I think EVERYONE, at that point is going, WTH????

    This is why the Steelers fall to teams that are bad. Coach doesn’t know what he’s doing.

  19. CKL says: Dec 11, 2012 11:35 AM

    People are cynical/laugh when BB talks about every Pats opponent to his team like they are the 85 Bears, but I like it because it makes sure the team seldom plays down to their competition because they treat all opponents similarly.

    Teams that do that consistently have a coaching problem of some kind, IMO. NYG do it too. I’m not saying it’s the HC necessarily, but something is going on.

  20. steelersownyou says: Dec 11, 2012 11:53 AM

    Ravenator speaks from experience. Ravens have been batched, gabberted, rg3’d, and cundiffed. He above all knows what it means to play down to the competition!!

  21. grs27 says: Dec 11, 2012 11:54 AM

    ravenator says: Dec 11, 2012 10:32 AM

    “This team has no substance. They are overrated, overpaid, and overhyped every single year. Whats happened the last two years? Swept, Tebowd out of the playoffs. This year they can barely play above .500 losing to inferior opponents week in and week out. This couldnt have happened to a more deserving team”.

    Yes, we lost to an inferior opponent- including the Ravens, but then Charlie Batch came to Baltimore and whooped some arse.

  22. ravenatorcantfight says: Dec 11, 2012 12:42 PM

    I like Tomlin but its his job to fire these guys up

  23. steel420 says: Dec 11, 2012 3:57 PM

    The coaches AND players are making a ton of mistakes this year. It’s difficult to point fingers at one thing. Just not our year so far. Plain and simple.

  24. bobzilla1001 says: Dec 11, 2012 4:26 PM

    The Steelers have played a ridiculously weak schedule this season. Even the majority of their victories are against cupcakes. They’ve beaten the Jets, the Eagles, the Bengals (when they were floundering), the Redskins (when they were floundering) and the Chiefs.
    The Steelers’ two wins against supposedly “good teams” came against the Giants, who were distracted, dazed and confused by a superstorm, and the Ravens, who haven’t played well in weeks.
    The 2012 Steelers simply aren’t very good, which makes them legitimate AFC playoff contenders. The NFL is laughable.

  25. natedawg76 says: Dec 11, 2012 5:26 PM

    stoogy says: Dec 11, 2012 9:54 AM

    This is a bad team. They have an overrated QB, no running game and its not so much them playing down to compatition as it is more likely the compitition is playing down to thier level,

    Besides your awful spelling….you are really off. Their O-line cannot stay healthy and many times you are watching 3rd string players on the line. Do you think that might contribute to a less than stellar running game and erratic qb play? All that being said, they have managed to be a fixture in the NFL postseason and will continue to show up come the playoffs.

  26. Deb says: Dec 11, 2012 5:46 PM

    Hey, I’d have been okay if we’d played to the competition on Sunday. But the supposedly sorry competition put up 34 points. The supposedly sorry competition had the good sense to fall on that loose ball in the end zone. We didn’t play anywhere near our competition Sunday. We played to the competition level of an FCS scrub team. I love the Steelers win or lose, but I’m less warm and fuzzy when the effort doesn’t seem to be there.

    @CKL …

    Good to see you, too :) Saban–another guy from the BB tree–gives the same respect to all comers and everyone gripes about him talking up the underdogs. But better to treat every opponent like the ’85 Bears than to go in overconfident and wind up getting clobbered.

  27. bobzilla1001 says: Dec 11, 2012 7:06 PM

    Deb:
    The Steelers are what their record says they are: 7-6. This decline started late last season and has continued into 2012.
    Chuck Noll used to say that teams either get better or get worse; they never stay the same. The Steelers are in decline.

  28. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Dec 12, 2012 9:22 PM

    The only AFC team that can knock the Steelers out of that last wildcard spot would be the Bengals who they beat already and they play again. If they beat the Bengals again, I say they are in.

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