End of regular season WTF wrap-up | Steel City Underground

Steel City Underground


First off, Happy New Year to all of our readers! It has been a long and drama-filled WTF year, to say the least, but I am beginning to think the Steelers thrive on the drama in and out of the clubhouse. Sitting at 13-3, it sure hasn't distracted them from the job at hand but to close out the year, let's take a look at our last two weeks of good and bad WTF drama before we head into what can only be described as the crazy playoff schedule.

Week 16 had the Steelers on Christmas Day, once again, playing a team that was not having a great season. No, it was not a repeat of the Ravens v Steelers "immaculate reception" game of 2016, but the Houston Texans and T.J. Watt - our possible defensive rookie of the year - coming into his brother J.J. Watt's house for a game Pittsburgh should win. The final score, 34-6, in favor of the Steelers really summed up a game where we saw third-string quarterback T.J. Yates.

Three WTF moments for this game came in the form of sacks in the game for Steelers newcomer Mike Hilton who just continues to impress each week at the cornerback position.

Ben Roethlisberger being 'Big Ben', showed once again he has more weapons than he knows what to do with, even without Antonio Brown in the lineup. He shared the touchdown love with wide receiver Justin Hunter, fullback Roosevelt Nix and rookie receiver Juju Smith-Schuster. Le'Veon Bell even carried one into the end zone. WTF Ben? Now you're just showing off.

Steelers touchdown celebrations were about snowball fights, opening presents, and 'Big Man' spikes. WTF? Can't we be more original than that? I'm kidding.

The WTF elephant in the room for week 16 was the fact that three days before Christmas, 14-year veteran linebacker James Harrison was released. It shocked Steelers Nation to the core....at first. Then the reports came out that Harrison had been asking for his release since week two, and since the writing was on the wall, he would not play unless there were injuries. I am not sure what Harrison was thinking at 39-years old, but I have to say, WTF? I loved this player, even to the point I pushed for his re-signing in 2014, but it is not supposed to be about you all the time; the millions of dollars you have made over the years playing a game you love to play. As a veteran player, it is about closing out your career with respect, mentoring, and doing what it takes for that last Super Bowl ring.

So, to see Harrison go to the rival, New England Patriots, for a one-game minimum vet paycheck was a big WTF for me. Yes, he had a decent game in week 17 against a very bad Jets team, but WTF, James? Will it be worth it when the Steelers are in the Super Bowl and you are once again in your warm living room on the brink of retirement and 40 years old with people pissed at you in Pittsburgh? Time will tell.

Week 17 was a little more fruitful with WTF moments than the previous week. The biggest one, for me, had to be the announcement that Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis will be returning for another two years after 15 years with zero playoff wins and his team reaching the playoffs just four times during his tenure. WTF, Browns? I mean Bengals? Hard to tell the difference some days. All this does is help the Steelers in the AFC North. So, to the Cincinnati front office, thanks!

A WTF shoutout to everyone's "favorite little brother" JuJu Smith-Schuster for not only his touchdown reception from Steelers backup quarterback Landry Jones but also for making more history with a 96-yard kickoff return touchdown in the third quarter. Maybe Madden can finally give him that rating he's been asking for. Did you see those stiff-arms and broken tackles by this 21-year old kid? Ridiculous.


We had some WTF moments from Chris Hubbard in the same game when he went from offensive guard to center after our backup went down (Maurkice Pouncey did not play, like many of the 'starters'). That did not fare well as three low snaps had Jones jumping on the ball to take the hit and avoid the fumble. Bad planning there.

My last WTF has to do with resting our stars in week 17. I get that, I do, especially in the frigid temperatures we had in Pittsburgh. But essentially that is a three-week game break for Big Ben, Bell, 'AB' (he is recovering so he needs it), Pouncey, David DeCastro, and company - and that seems excessive. We saw early-season rust on some of our players this season, and yes, the Steelers ended it all well, but it is pedal to the metal on January 14th, and I am worried. So, WTF coach? I will concede to your judgment, Tomlin, but boy a 'bye', and a game off? Yikes. WTF to it's fullest.

On to the postseason! Who will we play? That is the question.

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