Huge win, costly win, stupid win, hilarious win, but still a win
The Pittsburgh Steelers win the weirdest game you will see, but it was potentially costly.
Even with all of their flaws on the roster there is a recipe for the Pittsburgh Steelers to be successful (relatively speaking) during the 2022 NFL season. We saw some of it on Sunday in their hilariously stupid 23-20 overtime win against the Cincinnati Bengals.
This is not a Super Bowl team. It is not a true contender. They are not on THAT level. But they could still be a playoff team, or at the very least be in contention for a playoff spot.
It is not going to be pretty. It is not going to be fun to watch. It might set football back 85 years. But there is a recipe.
It starts with a dominant defense, an offense that can be at least somewhat opportunistic, and making sure to win the turnover game.
The Steelers got a lot of that on Sunday.
There are not enough adjectives to talk about how good the defense was. They forced five turnovers, sacked Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow seven times, scored a touchdown, gave the offense short fields all day, and made even more big stops with the game on the line to keep the Steelers in the game. I am not going to crush them too much for the game-tying touchdown at the end of the fourth quarter because, shit, they never should have been in that position. They had to be dragging from how long they were on the field all day, and even then they still made the Bengals work for it, including a goal line stand with three minutes to play in the fourth quarter. That was not easy.
Minkah Fitzpatrick was EVERYWHERE. He had the pick-six, he made tackles, he broke up a pass in the end zone that would have been a potential game-winning touchdown, and then he sent the game to overtime by literally blocking the potential game-winning extra point.
T.J. Watt looked like the defensive player over the year. He knocked down passes, had an interception, had a sack, was disruptive in the running game, and just a general bringer of chaos.
Cam Heyward was Cam Heyward, just controlling the line and being a total pro.
Alex Highsmith looked like an absolute stud opposite Watt and played the game of his life with three sacks, two more tackles for loss, and four quarterback hits.
Even Devin Bush looked good, while new additions Myles Jack and Larry Ogunjobi made an impact.
They covered for a mostly inept and struggling offense and were the biggest difference-makers in the game. They won it by keeping the Steelers in it. They are going to need a lot more of that this season.
Some more random thoughts.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Adam's Sports Stuff to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.