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  • Gary Porpora

NFL 2023 WEEK FOURTEEN - TNF

Date: Thursday, December 7, 2023


Time: 8:15 p.m. ET


Channel: PRIME VIDEO (Amazon)


Weather: Perfect...


TNF 12/07


New England Patriots (+5.5) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-5.5) 30.5 [O]


This game comes at a critical juncture in Pittsburgh’s season; the Patriots are playing for the first overall pick in next years draft. If the Steeler can salvage a home victory, they are still in the hunt for a possible post-season berth.


Head Coach, Mike Tomlin has been taking relentless heat this week--deservedly so, even if too much of it had thinly veiled racism at its core.


Before my readers accuse me of being pro or con for Coach Tomlin, let me surprise you.


***I have come to accept the fact that a 12-17 year window for an NFL head coaching tenure might, in reality, be a “thing...***


If Rooney fires him after the season, he has his reasons.


Tomlin’s record in his 17th year has really been comprised of very early success:

  • 2 SB appearances and 1 win in his first four years--5-2 playoff record..

Versus not so much success, at least to many of the morons who call themselves Steelers Fanatics:

  • 3-7 in post season play and five non-playoff years in his next 12...

Last three playoff games,

  • Pittsburgh surrendered 135 pts...to Baker Mayfield’s Browns, Blake Bortles JagWires and Patrick Mahomes Chiefs.

Dim bulb--or “Low Watter” fans use that inglorious trifecta of tri-f#$king failure as another reason why TOMLIN MUST GO!!!


Few of them consider it was a miracle any of those three teams went to the playoffs in the first place.


In fact, all of Tomlin’s teams have been in the thick of the playoff hunt until the last game of the season.


Yeah, we get it, hoping a team loses their last game or waiting for other results to allow entry to the post season party is not the ideal circumstance--the Low Watters would say that is Tomlin’s “standard.” They mock Tomlin’s infamous phrase.”The Standard is the Standard.” The implication is “Our Stillers is supposed to dominate in the post season and win Super Bowls!”


Look, you want to hold Tomlin to account for atrocious misses on first rounders like Jarvis Jones and Artie Burns and question the team needing to draft Najee--I’m with you.


You want to blame him for not listening to Art Deuce when ownership insisted the coach focus on the running game in 2013? I’m with you.


You want to slam Tomlin for not hiring young assistants who could have kept ideas fresh in the “organizational mind?”...Or, for hanging on to Matt Canada two years, too long...Or, for having an ego too big to admit he made a mistake...Or, for lacking the fortitude to bench a superstar like Antonio Brown...Or, for his role in the draft room...I’M WITH YOU


BUT..let’s hold the man to the same standard as the legend he replaced and the arguably GOAT who came before both--Charles Henry Noll.


In the Emperor’s last 12 seasons he missed the playoffs eight times, had two playoff victories against four losses, and appeared in one AFCCG.


Is that the standard Tomlin haters are referring to?


Bill Cowher made the post season in his first six years--I never heard anyone say “He won with Noll’s players” They forget, Noll told his wife he knew he had built another championship team, but lacked the energy to finish the deal. Cowher also lost four AFCCGs--the Steelers were a solid favorite in three.


Is that the standard?...


From Kyle Chrise over at btsc.com:


If the standard is Super Bowls, why are playoff records even part of the conversation? If it’s in an effort to lessen the accomplishment of zero losing seasons, it’s a futile endeavor.


I don’t buy into the “Who better would replace Tomlin/” idiocy or the ”He would be hired within hours of being fired’ nonsense...Nobody In the Burgh heard of Chuck Noll, Bill Cowher, or Mike Tomlin before the Rooneys hired them.


However, I do buy into this :


According to ESPN the Steeler enjoyed fruitful drafts in Tomlins first few yeas consistently in the top ten. The last 10-12 years they have been clinging to average on their first day selections, but plummet to 25th on days 2-3. In short this means, at best, Tomlin’s Steeler have had the 16-20th level of talent during Tomlin’s 17 year run.


Same time period, Pittsburgh has the league’s third best record--eclipsed by only the Packers, who won just six more games,, and the most notorius Cheater in pro team sports history.


Add that to the way players speak about Tomlin, how journalists write about him, and how people revere the man--all of the above makes me hope Art Deuce keeps Tomlin as long as he wants.


THE PICK


The Steelers win this one on a walk-off field goal--and the score might be 3-0...


I can’t see either of the QBs in this one lighting it up but I have to figure even Mitch Trubisky can muster 20 points on this atrocious Patriot defense--and New England will score 13 on the T.J. Watt led Pittsburgh “D”...


That means I’m taking th 5.5 Points, the Pats, and the OVER

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