When you’re playing a comparable team, and you’re both playing comparably, and you give up a special teams touchdown and create zero turnovers, you’re pretty much going to lose. Roethlisberger played ok, not great or terrible, the offensive line played ok, not great or terrible, the Polamalu-less defense played ok, not great or terrible, the special teams played not ok, not great, but terrible, and the end result was an unsurprising close defeat.
Also, yes, the officiating in this game was again awful, with the refs missing a pretty obvious Pass Interference call on a potential Emmanuel Sanders game-winning touchdown, as well another weekly installment of NFL Personal Foul Wacky FlagzTM. I’ve grown so completely numb to the prospects of arguing over the NFL’s new helmet-to-helmet mandate this season and the exhausting “Am I even seeing the same dimension of reality as these commentators?” questions contained within, I have no energy nor new insight to expend on this subject anymore. I also have no idea what anything means anymore — we are through the officiating looking glass, people.
Hopefully on this side of the looking glass, the Steelers just beat Carolina and Cleveland and snag the #2 seed anyway (if they cannot do this, they’ll have certainly earned a not-#2 seed), then get Polamalu and Heath Miller back for the Playoffs, because seriously, those human beings are good at football. Are the Steelers going to beat New England? Nope. Could they conceivably lose a home playoff game to Baltimore, The Jets, San Diego, Indy, or Kansas City? Except Kansas City, yep.
Basically, I think we’re all in Gravy-mode at this point, where we realize the Steelers are banged-up and are a major long shot to win the Super Bowl, despite having their #2 seeded destiny in their hands, but there’s so many other teams with similar question marks that we’re just for the Steelers to go out later than other teams we dislike more. Meaning, it’s an NFL season.