Expect More Mediocrity This Sunday?

By Jeremy Hritz

0-3? Yeah, it’s not a mistake. And it is very hard to believe.

Rather than expecting these Pittsburgh Steelers to elevate their game and to play at a high level, maybe it’s time to lessen expectations and to expect what has become the standard since Ben Roethlisberger’s injury against the Kansas City Chiefs last November.

Instead of expecting sacks, fumbles, and interceptions on defense, expect opposing quarterbacks in the grasp that get rid of the ball last second for completions, fumbles failed to be recovered by players in black and gold uniforms, and nears misses on picks, or not even being in the position to make an interception.

Instead of expecting the offensive line to blow open holes for running backs and to give ample time for Roethlisberger to pick a defense apart, expect the linemen to get blown up themselves and to get their quarterback killed in the process.

And instead of expecting Roethlisberger to throw strikes and to lead the Steelers from deficits to victories in the fourth quarter, expect him to be careless with the football and to throw pick sixes.

Maybe if Steelers Nation starts expecting what has become the norm instead of expecting outstanding play that has characterized Steelers football for an extremely long time, Monday mornings and the subsequent five days following may not be as miserable.

And if the Steelers were a deplorable franchise, and if this 2013 squad was actually devoid of talent, it would be easy to expect the pathetic play that has characterized this young season.

Perhaps the most frustrating element of this team is that they are a talented bunch despite their penchant for making mistakes and beating themselves.

There were moments this past Sunday in which the Steelers actually looked like the Steelers of old, getting pressure, breaking off big runs, and connecting on big pass plays.

But negating those plays were the fumbles, interceptions, sacks, and crucial, big plays given up on defense.

For whatever reason, the current version of the Steelers is inconsistent and struggling to establish a positive identity.

And the signs along the way in the first three games of the season are not promising, and to believe that the Steelers will rectify their weaknesses and rebound with a string of victories to get into the playoffs seems ridiculous.

Something just has to give. Or does it?

This Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, the Steelers will be looking establish some sort of consistency to earn their first win of the season, but as has been established, there is really no reason to believe that they will do so.

Until the Steelers stop turning the football over, make big plays both offensively and defensively, and ultimately, get a win, there is no strong evidence to believe that this team can rebound and get out of the AFC North cellar.

So what should we expect against the Vikings? If the first three games suggest anything, we can expect more of the same

  • steeltown

    Sorry but I will not lessen my expectations, ever, this is the Pittsburgh Steelers, yes I have to remain more calm this year, more patient, keep cool sometimes, but as frustrated as I get or angry at times I keep in mind that the Team has improved every week, we’re starting rookies and have been without some top notch players. We were tied with Cincinnati at halftime with a brand new Center going against their top notch DL and actually (save a dumb turnover) could’ve been leading at halftime. Then came back from a 21pt deficit against Chicago the following week and saw a glimpse of what the Offense is capable of, in the end turnovers and a couple huge penalties have killed us the last two weeks. That is no reason to start lowering expectations, ever

  • Luke Shabro

    I mean my God the defense has to get a turnover by accident eventually. Right?? What’s the record for longest game streak ever without a TO for a defense? Like steeltown I really don’t want to lower my expectations but when we turn the ball over or make stupid mental errors I can’t help from yelling at the TV “Here we go again!” I will try to remain optimistic. At least last week’s game gave us a few reasons to be

  • Luke Shabro

    And based on the amount of Steelers fans I saw in London and Dublin when I was there I’m hoping this will feel a little more like a home game for the Steelers than it does for the Vikings

  • T R

    Agree, I will not lower my expectatioins either. This article should have been left unprinted… Noone should ever expect mediocry. Thats the problem with normal cellar teams. They expect it. and thats what they get.. The Steeler Nation expect greatness and they should get it… and we will …

  • Tom Savastano

    The standard is still the standard…play winning football!

  • Callentown

    I know I’m a broken record, but this is what I’ve been saying since game two. It really seems like the Steelers have enough talent, and I thought a decent coaching staff, to compete this year.

    Perhaps by the end of the year, but not anytime soon. Just too many problems.

    That said, we could win THIS game. I live in MN and the Vikes are as much a mess as the Steelers but with more significant injuries – like QB.

    Good luck this week, but this year is not going to magically come around as in years past.

  • Bill Molinaro

    Until the Steelers get some real leadership on the field they will be mediocre. Is Jack Lambert still around?

  • Garrett Keegan

    I think if they dont get a TO this week they will either set or tie the record for # of games to start a season without forcing a TO

  • tpalya

    “…maybe it’s time to lessen expectation, and to
    expect what has become the standard” -Jeremy Hritz

    Spoken like a true Liberal!

  • Christopher Wilkes

    Lower expectations? Most people on here thought this was a 10-6 or even 12-4 football team. Hard for people to think clearly when they’re delusional. My expectations are right where I thought they’d be, but if we lose to the Vikings you damn well better believe I will lower them. I still think we can finish .500, but this team could also be picking top 5 in the draft next year.

  • cencalsteeler

    Wow! While were at it, lets just close down Heinz field and throw in the towel on the rest of the season. Have Tomlin give a speech to the players to just play with mediocrity, give the coaches 4 days off a week and the vets just show up on Sundays. I, for one, am a fan of the game. Any given Sunday, our Steelers have a chance to win the game. Regardless of records, stats, or predictions, it’s a clear slate once that whistle blows and the ball is kicked off. Each game injects hope that our team will come out victorious. As a true fan, to go into a game and expect mediocrity, I for one can not imagine. This goes against all principles of being a true fan, for optimism and hope is what keeps us waving our towels through the good and the bad times. If one does not go into a game with high expectations and hopes for a victory, than you are only cheating yourself with the emotional highs and lows a true fan gets to experience on Sundays. Go get em Steelers!!

  • steeltown

    Well said

  • SteelersDepot

    I was just going to blast you right out here, but instead thought I would give you a warning. Take your politics elsewhere. If for some reason you can’t post, it is because I changed my mind and blew you out of the water as target practice.

  • Ahmad

    I’m sorry but I’m not lowering my standards for the Steelers. They are a franchise of excellence and expects such from their players at all times and so do the fans. I’m not changing them just because of a recent losing streak.

  • tpalya

    I don’t hang out were people think they
    have the right to censor my words.

    You have to be a liberal too.

    Stick it up your commie…..

  • tpalya

    Look to Art2, he’s the one behind this.

  • SteelerFanInMD

    Calling the Steelers’ play in the first 3 games “mediocre” is being generous. I would call them “inept.” They couldn’t move the ball or score many points for two games. When they found some offense in game 3, they offset it with a multitude of turnovers. If they are mediocre against the Vikings, that would be an upgrade and they could end up winning the game.

  • SteelersDepot

    Your wish shall be granted.

  • Soliciting Steelers

    The only…only reason why I gave this article more than a few seconds thought is because Jake Matthews would look great at LT. Outside of that, lowering expectations only works in Cleveland ;)

  • Xclewsive

    Steelers fans back away from the ledge! LOL!

  • Steeler Wheeler

    Just clicked on this article hoping to find a button to vote it down.

  • Reader783

    Why was this article written? Lower expectations? “Give up on this team, and then you can’t be disappointed.” Come on.

  • chris ward

    The Steelers franchise have too much tradition and pride to lower the expectations.

  • Don

    Particularly against the Bears, I think a better word is “sloppy”. They didn’t play badly so much as shoot themselves in the foot. They outgained them by a large margin. But gifting them two TDs plus several other turnovers to boot was too much to overcome. I understand that’s not good, but the point is that they were a few very correctable mistakes from winning, and doing so impressively in my estimation.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    I love my steelers. through thick an thin ill always bleed black n gold i believe we have a good enough team to beat anybody barring significant injuries at multiple positions and once our core players take their leadership roles we be back winning and we will all be like they are who we thought they were

  • RedCarpetDefense

    This article reads of a good reality check. For those unwilling to “lower “your expectations, I have one question. Are you “expecting” the Steelers to go to the Super Bowl this year? Do you “expect” a playoff appearance? If you answer yes its time you take your head(s) outta the sand. This is (so far) a bad team…but thats ok obviously the Steelers can’t win the division every year. Until this team starts stringing wins together…well there’s no such thing as a good winless team. “You are who your record says you are”. That being said I do “expect” improvement(s) to be made weekly.