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Coping With Victory: Pittsburgh Steelers Edition

Related: Patriots vs. Steelers: Fan Notes from the Game

NFL: New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots won a game on Sunday.

I usually only write these articles on the Tuesday following a Patriots loss, listing five positives we can all take away from the game — but given the levels of positivity and overall happiness I’ve been seeing as Pats fans celebrate a road win over a conference rival, I feel it’s my responsibility to remind everyone that nothing is ever good enough around these parts and no matter what happens, nobody should ever feel optimistic about this 2022 squad at any point.

So, anytime things start looking a little rosy in Patriots Nation, fear not; I’m always ready to step up and be the turd in the punch bowl we all need. Not all heroes wear capes.

For those of you choosing to enjoy this win like the narrow-minded, tunnel-visioned homers that you are, here are five reasons why we should all be completely miserable with this latest disaster of a “victory.”

The Steelers aren’t very good. Mitch Trubisky isn’t the answer at quarterback and this is a Steelers team lacking any offensive identity. They weren’t able to get anything going strictly because of their own incompetence and it has absolutely nothing to do with New England’s defense doing anything positive. The Patriots didn’t win this game, Pittsburgh lost it. If you want to celebrate two meh teams doing meh things, good for you, I guess. But everybody with a brain can see the truth here.

Mac Jones has clearly regressed. Remember when we all thought Mac Jones was going to be good? Boy do we have egg on our face now. Jones is well on pace for a sophomore slump unlike anything we’ve ever seen in the history of the NFL. He should have multiple picks through two games. He’s zeroing in on the same targets and missing wide open guys. He’s not as accurate as he was last season. He doesn’t seem to have the same rapport with his receivers. We let Tom Brady walk and now we’re anchored to a player who has already peaked and is going to get markedly worse with each and every game. It just makes you sick to your stomach, doesn’t it?

Cole Strange is still a bust. Yeah, Strange has been very solid in his first two games. Sure, he won nearly all of his 1-on-1 matchups with Cam Heyward. And yes, the New England interior line closed out the win with an almost seven minute ground and pound drive against the same Steelers line that spent all of last week drinking tea in the AFC Champion Bengals backfield. Don’t let any of that cause you to forget, even for a single second, that the Patriots reached for Cole Strange in the first round and they had absolutely no business drafting him, He would have been there in the second and they should have used that pick on somebody else. Everybody knows that drafting a good player is completely meaningless unless you drafted him exactly where you were told by television personalities you should have drafted him.

Zero catches for the tight ends. Remember all that money the Patriots threw at Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith? How’s that all working out for you? I don’t know about any of you, but I sure would like to see more production out of those guys. And before you sit there and point out how effective Henry was in the power/gap run scheme as a blocker or what Smith was able to do with his pre-snap motions, I couldn’t care less about that. Tight ends catch passes and do nothing else. That’s why Travis Kelce is the GOAT. If you wanted more blockers you should have just drafted more linemen. Just not in the first round when Mel Kiper Jr. has a second-round grade on them.

The Fins and Bills are 2-0 so who cares. New England is tied with the Jets for dead last place in the AFC East. Plus they already have a divisional loss to the Dolphins, so that means they’re actually below the Jets, looking up at two undefeated teams in the AFC East. If you want to sit here and be happy with the Patriots in last place, go right ahead. The Bills are one of the best teams in the entire league anyway, so it’s not like anything matters in the slightest. A mediocre team is in last place in a division with a Super Bowl contender atop it, so excuse me for not taking even an ounce of joy out of these victories.

Hopefully this is the last one of these I’ll have to write this season. That No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 Draft is still very much in play, which would be a nice way to welcome in whoever the new head coach is after Robert Kraft finally fires Bill Belichick and turns the page for real.

That’s assuming Kraft doesn’t see the writing on the wall and cut bait now while he has the chance. Maybe he’ll sell the team or something, relocate the Patriots to outer Mongolia, and we can all just be done with this nonsense.