As a life long fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, there is a troublesome trend with the Steelers that was really concerning me heading into the Week 7 game against the Miami Dolphins.
See, the Steelers like to play to the level of their competition. When they are playing great teams, they play great. When they are playing poor teams, sometimes they play poorly. When they are playing teams in the middle, much like the Miami Dolphins, sometimes they play poor, and lose because of it.
I was worried about the game against the Miami Dolphins, because they are not a team that is great, but far from a team that is bad. Miami is a middle of the road team, and the Steelers could have been in for a trap game.
Notice, I said COULD HAVE.
The Pittsburgh Steelers, are loved by Steelers Nation. Those that do not love the Steelers, normally HATE them. The joy around the NFL when Ben Roethlisberger was suspended was like the Steelers had already been eliminated from the Playoffs.
People were predicting the Steelers would win four games, or be lucky to go 8-8. Everyone KNEW that the Steelers would be lucky to go 1-3 during Roethlisbergers absence. What happened?
The Steelers got a chip on their shoulder, because people said, "they can't."
In 2005, the Steelers were almost not in the playoffs. Everyone wrote them off, saying that they could not make the playoffs.
The chip—win final four games, then another three on the road in the playoffs, and eventually become Super Bowl Champions!
In 2009, everyone said the Steelers would end the season on an eight game losing streak. After losing to the Browns, the talk of how doomed the Steelers were started.
The chip—Steelers win their final three games, beating two teams that were in the playoffs, and one that was eliminated when they lost to Pittsburgh.
In 2010, when Ben Roethlisberger was suspended, and everyone said the Steelers would be horrible.
The chip—Steelers defense looks like the Steel Curtain, as they pound the Falcons, Titans and Buccaneers, and almost beat the Ravens, with their fourth string QB.
Again in 2010, James Harrison is fined for a hit, that is questionable.
See, the Steelers like to play with that chip on their shoulder. They like for people to talk bad about them. They like when they play away, and hear the opposing fans BOO them. It is motivation. It is inspiration.
Why? Because they know, when people want them to play poorly, is when they play their best. When most teams have distractions, the Steelers have motivation.
Unlike the game may have had against the Dolphins, had the NFL not decided to put the chip back on their shoulder.