Look….I get it. The Steelers have been so good for so long that we sometimes forget just how truly blessed the people of Pittsburgh are as Sports fans. Sometimes it’s not worth looking down at the division, because the one time they get close to beating us or have a sniff at a playoff run, their fans run rapid. Almost beating the Steeler’s single handedly made the Cleveland Browns relevant again. We have given the Bengals fanbase multiple reasons to believe that is isn’t their Head Coach that sucks in playoff games, it’s the refs. And the Ravens….well, I think it’s safe to say they have easily been our biggest competition. I’m not writing this article to make fun of our division. I strongly believe that one their best days, we have one of (if not the best) divisions in the NFL. What I am writing about is one thing that Pittsburgh ABSOLUTELY takes for granted…stability. Stability, maybe to a fault, is the reason that over the past 16 seasons, the Steelers have won the division 8 times, giving the Bengals and Ravens the other eight to divide 4-4. Let’s take a look at the teams we call our rivals for one second.
I can speak for everyone when I say that it’s just time for the Browns to be good. The joke is over, and they just had one of the best drafts that a rebuilding team can have. Just as a reminder, Baker is playing like a QB1, Nick Chubb has just cemented himself as a true three down back, and Denzel Ward has three interceptions on the year, and an extremely good pass to incompletion ratio. In all honesty, thank god they fired Hue. Now, as mentioned above, stability is a main factor in success….but you have to see a glimmer of hope at some point to keep this guy around and there was nothing. Dorsey is too good to attach his legacy to a coach who can’t do what’s needed to win, and that’s just that. They also still have Myles Garrett, so yeah. 3-5 years and we can be worried.
Honestly, if you have to ask if a quarterback is “Elite”, he just isn’t. Joe Flacco did lead this team to a Super Bowl, but he also crippled the money able to be spent with an insane contract. The Ravens have drafted fairly well as of late, bringing in guys like Ronnie Stanley, Marlon Humphrey and my personal favorite Lamar Jackson in recent years. The drafting of Jackson proves one thing…the Ravens are at least willing to see a future beyond Flacco. This alone is a massive step for this franchise, because I don’t think they have prepared this offense well enough for future years. You also get head coach Harbaugh in the Hot Seat every week it seems, so don’t be surprised if they move past their head coach sooner rather than later.
Wow. For a team that looks so promising every year, is it possible for the Bengals to actually be behind the Browns in a five year window of success? Now I know the Bengals are in second place at 5-4, but this defense used to be elite. Here are the points allowed by Cincy this season….51 to the Saints. 34 to the Buccaneers. 45 to the chiefs. 36 to the Falcons. 31 to the Panthers. 28 to the Steelers. Eventually, no matter how talented Mixon and Green (who will be out for about a month) are, you can’t just continue to try and outscore teams. There aren’t enough weapons in the world to make Andy Dalton throw shot for shot with Drew Brees. The Bengals need to address the Qb position sooner rather than later, and that’s coming from a guy who loves to watch them burn down in flames of glory. The Bengals have drafted well in their defense, finding gems late such as Tyler Boyd and, although controversial, Joe Mixon. My honest opinion on why they haven’t won a playoff game with their current head coach is….well, Marvin Lewis sucks. AND Vontaze Burfict, who is actually a really talented player, is a complete waste of a teammate, never quite knowing when to injury his team or the other team. If Marvin Lewis isn’t out after this year, I’m applying for a Head Coaching position. Yes, we will cover it roughly and poorly on TFTB.
If there’s an underlying factor in every paragraph there, it’s that the Steelers have only had three head coaches since 1969. Think about that. And all three of the coaches have an above 500 winning percentage in the playoffs. Tomlin has a career .659 wining percentage, while Noll (.566) and Cowher (.571) stand right behind. Insane. Now, that stability is awarded and this isn’t to say the Browns and Bengals should keep their shit head coaches, but maybe the directions have just been flat out wrong.