But you can't pretend like the case for it isn't as clear as Ochocinco's repressed sexuality.
Either way, this game has become this week's marquee matchup...
ESPN.com's front page yesterday.
CBSSports.com's front page today.
When I sat down to write this thing, part of me was like, dude, how many times can I possibly re-use the same tired ass jokes from the last few years, mostly involving Tom Brady, various items of womens' attire and goats?
It honestly does get hard to come up with fresh material year-after-year, let alone twice a season like I have to for the Ravens, Gowns, and Svengalis.
So, I've tried to do that in this week's preview, but there's no real guarantee that I'm going to be able to get that creative with all aspects of the New England Patriots.
Still, at least they're kind of an easy target.
Classic internet lore, in case you've never seen it before, stop watching so much Star Trek.
But seriously, you guys - football-wise, there's a reason why this game has been circled on my calendar for the last [at least] seven weeks.
Say what you want about the Cheatriots collective and individual personality(ies), the past history between us, etc., but you can't really pretend like you're surprised they're 5-1 and still have one of the most potent offenses in the league.
Not that you can say the same for their defense up to this point, but...
So, while I'm clearly not going to deviate from my standard regimen of haterade in this post (for the most part), I felt like I had to at least make it a point to acknowledge the fact that this year's game could totally end up like last years and others against the Hatriots.
That said, no.
Obviously I have no authority or particular context with which to say what is or is not going to happen, but I'm going to have faith and say that win or lose, this is going to be a fight.
And honestly, I don't know if I would go so far as to say it's "fun" to play good teams, but it definitely makes things more interesting.
Thus far this season, the Steelers have found success against a hand full of teams, but the only team approaching what you might call a "powerhouse" that they've played is the Ravens, and you all remember how that went (granted that was a monumentally atypical shitshow).
So, this one is a big one.
A chance to put a stake in the ground.
It isn't necessarily going to get us anything more than another W (though a win is a win closer to putting separation between us and the Ravens/Bengals), but it could say a lot about the team's ultimate success.
Or, it couldn't.
That's the beauty of life - nothing is certain and even things that seem related may not be/probably are not at all.
Anyway, when I start waxing philosophical about the Steelers, I think that's pretty much my cue to cut the crap and get to the preview.
First, the Steelers give it to the Cardinals to go 5-2, and then the Jags SHUT THE RAVENS DOWN 12-7, holding the entire Ravens offense to under 150 total yards.
Which means that for the time being (read: at least until next week), the Steelers own the AFC North, with a game lead on Assaultimore.
Begging the question - is this real life right now?
And before I get to anything Steelers, I gotta say, how about Josh Scobee, man?
Tres field goals of over 50 yards, cuatro on the dia.
My new hero.
Now, as for Steelers-Cardinals, it's another well-earned notch on the Steelers' collective belt.
With New England and Baltimore on the horizon, it certainly was an important game.
And, any opportunity we can get to remind Arizona that despite the overwhelming amount of former Steelers on their roster and coaching staff, they are still a broke ass version of the black and gold, I'm all for it.
Someone get Ken Whisenhunt a fistful of advil.
Things indeed went pretty well for the Steelers on Sunday.
I'm not going to say it was the best game ever played, but there were definitely way more awesome things than not awesome things, which always makes my job here a lot more fun.
So, given that we had a preliminary conversation about this game on Sunday evening/yesterday, I feel pretty comfortable just diving right into the "Things That were Awesome," and "Things That Were NOT Awesome," below.
Right, so we pretty much covered this Sunday, I think, but a win is a much needed win, and we'll take 17-13 just as welcomingly as 30-13.
The reality is, with the Bengals somehow figuring out how to play football, and the Ravens continuing to put the NFL in its place (gotta admit, they're doing their jobs), every game is going to be a must-win.
Granted, every game is a must-win either way, particulary if you're a Steeler fan.
But as usual, the AFC North is shaping up to be a race to the finish.
The good news is 4-2 ain't half bad.
I mean, only four teams in the entire league have more than four wins right now.
So, never fear, Steeler nation.
Things might continue to seem chaotic for a little while, but as long as we keep finding ways, we'll keep finding wins.
If you will it, dude, it is no dream, as the great Walter Sobchak would say (if you don't know that reference, you should probably look it up).
Getting back to OFTOT's bread and butter here (ie - schadenfreude) - the three people in Jacksonville who are aware that city has a professional football team are probably really disappointed right now.
Rough ending for a team with one lonely win and a five year old starting at QB.
Honestly, how bad must David Garrard have been for the Jagoffs to let him go right before the season in favor of Luke McCown and a fetus?
Had to have been about money.
No other way to rationalize it.
In any case, no sense in prolonging the inevitable anymore than I have to, so let's just dive right in to the "Things That Were Awesome," and "Things That Were NOT Awesome," here.
Should the Jaguars have been within one score of winning that game?
Repeat after Tomlin...
The bottom line is they were. But in the end, we got the last laugh.
Again, I've said it about a thousand times in probably a thousand different ways - I can't remember a time recently when these Steelers were in the habit of handily beating teams on a consistent basis without a fight.
Convincing wins in the NFL are a relative rarity in general.
Exhibit A - a couple of weeks ago in Houston, the same thing basically happened, only the Steelers were the aggressors who eventually couldn't pull it out in time.
We'll take the W any way we can get it.
And hopefully by Week 10 my fingernails will have grown back.
So, on that note, let's accentuate the positive and recap some of today's awesome that you'll likely see in the full recap on Tuesday.
First up, Mike Wallace's 28 yard TD grab...
And why not follow that with the only other ball he caught today...
...which just so happened to be a 47 yarder over who else but Ben's old nemesis, Rasheen Mathis.
And what about Mendenhall's 68 yard haul, which was a large chunk of his 146 yard day?
Or my personal favorite, Mendy giving Rasheen Mathis the business for six points...
iPhone auto-corrects Mendenhall to "Mending all," by the way.
Then, there was Manny Sanders with the 32 yard grab...
Would've been nice if he had gotten more than one of the four balls thrown his way, but of course, not all of those were on him.
And at least that one was awesome.
Anyway, 4-2, keeping pace with the Bangles, and hopefully at least only staying a game behind the Ravens, pending what's happening in Baltimore right now.
Trip out west next week for a date with our old friends Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm's mustache.
Stay tuned for the real recap hopefully on Tuesday morning.
In the meantime, feel free to deposit all your initial thoughts in the comments.
Outside of the teams in their own division, the Steelers have few legit rivalries.
MAYBE the Colts.
And I'd venture to say Tennessee, probably left over from the old AFC Central days.
Over the last few meetings the Steelers have more or less owned these jokers (in terms of wins, anyway), the lone exception being the now-infamous towel stomping, bed shitting incident of 2008, when they got punked 31-14.
But this year's Titans team isn't last years, or the one from the year before (not sure if that's proper English, but don't bother to correct me in the comments, I don't care).
Even beginning with no Jeff Fisher.
Dude's mullet and trashy Oakleys were Tennessee staples for the NFL equivalent of a century.
Now, he's gone, the Vince Young experiment is over, Matt Hasselbeck is under center, and the Titans are off to a 3-1 start, having beaten their last three opponents - the Ravens, Broncos, and Cle-heave-land.
As for the Steelers, well, we all know where they stand.
It can't get much worse than last week in a lot of ways.
And so, I expect that win or lose, this week will hopefully look a lot better than the week prior.
Is Max Starks the answer to the team's biggest problem?
But one has to assume he's a better answer than Trai Essex, should it come to that again, or at least a solid addition in terms of veteran depth on what seems like the world's shakiest line.
Then again, with Legursky in for Kemo, who will not be playing, I think this is basically a roll of the dice.