Steelers vs. Eagles: Pittsburgh Is out of Excuses in Case of Loss to Philly

Robert TheodorsonSenior Analyst INovember 20, 2016

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 23:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers points to the sky after the Steelers scored a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 23, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Perhaps the Philadelphia Eagles shouldn't have a record of 3-1.

A record won by inching out tough games against their opponents in which they've won by no more than two points.

A record built by defeating the Steelers' AFC North division rivals, the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens—a task that might be asking a little too much had Pittsburgh played them on Weeks 1 and 2 respectively. 

After posting a 1-2 record after falling to the hapless Oakland Raiders in a game that cannot be described without using the word embarrassing at least a few times, the Steelers retreated to lick their wounds in an absolutely needed bye week, which happened to be the first available of the season for any team in the league.

Word has it that the oft-injured Troy Polamalu will make his presence known after sitting out the previous two games with an injury. Joining him will be the other Steelers' modern day Defensive Player of the Year, James Harrison, who has sat out the entire year thus far.

No one in Steelers Nation is simply grateful to have both defensive playmakers back in action—they are desperate.

Before the season started, the status of Rashard Mendenhall was much talked about, but it was widely assumed that Pittsburgh could get by without him, perhaps for the entire season if need be.

Now Mendenhall has a chance to be the savior of a one-dimensional offense that can't run the ball to save its life. The running game, something that was promised to be chalked full of greatness under new offensive coordinator Todd Haley, has been flat-out abysmal. 

Although it sounds extremely pessimistic, the Steelers might be throwing in the towel if Week 5 results in a loss. 

The Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals are both 3-1 and are not poised to lose this week. The Ravens take on the god-awful Kansas City Chiefs on the road, and the Bengals play host to the Miami Dolphins, a team just waiting to implode. 

Simply put, the Steelers cannot become 1-3 regardless of the outcome of the Baltimore and Cincinnati games. 

If the run game sputters, the offensive line takes its routine two-to-three injuries per week or Polamalu or Harrison becomes re-injured, then the Eagles who may undeservedly have become 3-1 will leave little doubt in anyone's mind that they do indeed belong to be at the head of the NFC East.