The Steelers may not make the playoffs. Hard to believe it, isn’t it? After their third brutal loss they are in big trouble. It’s hard to figure out how the Steelers could lose to a 2-10 Oakland team, their fourth straight loss in the Black Hole, but they did. There’s too much blame to go around, but it’s fair to point at the defense. They gave up two scoring drives to the Raiders in the game’s last few minutes. It was hard to watch, to say the least.
• Chris Boswell has to go. The Steelers’ kicker had much to do with the loss in Oakland. He missed two field goals, including the one that would have sent the game to overtime. Boswell has gone from Mr. Reliable to Mr. Don’t Count On Me. I don’t know how the Steelers can keep him on the roster.
• Ben Roethlisberger was one of the few bright spots for the Steelers. His late fourth quarter drive was a thing of beauty. It looked like Big Ben had authored another come from behind victory. Too bad the defense blew it.
• The schedule is not favorable to the Steelers down the stretch. They host the Patriots next week. The Pats have won the last five between the two. They play in New Orleans before Christmas, and then end the season at home against Cincinnati. I’d be surprised if the Steelers win more than one of those games, with losses coming against the Saints and Patriots. Loss both and they just might miss the playoffs.
• James Conner has done a great job for the Steelers this season replacing the now departed Le’Veon Bell. His latest injury, however, shows why you need more than one good running back in the NFL these days, and why teams seem to devalue backs in the pass happy NFL. Conner is clearly the Steelers’ number one back going forward, but it’s obvious to me that the team may still need to draft a back in the early rounds of the 2019 draft.
• Daniel Sprong just couldn’t crack the Pens’ lineup. We kept hearing that the natural goal scorer was going to be possible star in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, Mike Sullivan never shared that opinion and hardly played the youngster. Thus, it was no surprise when Sprong was dealt to Anaheim. I still think Sprong has a chance to be a really good NHL player. Perhaps the change of scenery and playing in a new system will be what he needs.
• Patrick Hornqvist did something against Colorado that not even great players like Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr and Sidney Crosby never did. He recorded a hat trick in just 2:47, the fastest in Pens’ history. He also did it on just three shots. That’s pretty incredible. It was just what the Pens needed after blowing a three goal lead. Hopefully it will also turn the Penguins’ season around for the better.
• I’m not surprised that Urban Meyer is retiring as Ohio State’s head football coach. The man looked like he was really suffering on the sidelines this season. Meyer will go down as one of the greatest coaches in college football history. He’s already won three national championships and has turned Ohio State into a powerhouse. The wins and records are great, but his health is more important. I think Meyer is done for good, and would be shocked if he ever walks the sidelines again.
• Kyler Murray was a worthy choice to win the Heisman Trophy. I’m convinced that his performance in the Big 12 Title game clinched it for him. He was great in that game. I’m also convinced he will play pro baseball going forward.