I can’t believe it has come to this.
I can’t believe I’m growing calmer as I approach 40.
I can’t believe — in some ways — I’m comfortable being the even-keeled voice of composure.
I mean, I thought I was supposed to be some loudmouthed jerk, far too focused on the negative all the time.
But hey, listen up: Calm down. Relax. It isn’t that bad. There’s a lot of football left to play. It was just one game. There’s plenty of season left. Get ‘em next time.
There are always bumps in the road. You don’t win the Super Bowl in September. Maybe this will be a wakeup call. [Insert another sports cliché or two of your liking here.]
In all seriousness, however, the Steelers were embarrassed and humiliated on Sunday in Philadelphia, beaten in all facets and it would be tough to identify a single Pittsburgh player who had a solid performance outside of punter Jordan Berry.
Even with that said, here’s my opinion: This is still a very good football team. This is a Pittsburgh Steelers football team that has yet to even scratch the surface of how good it can be — particularly on offense.
Know why? Le’Veon Bell is due back this weekend in a matchup on Sunday night against the Kansas City Chiefs. When he comes back, only then can everyone get a truer gauge on how good this offense can be.
Know why else this is a very good football team? Ben Roethlisberger — who threw a mighty fine pass to butteryfingered Markus Wheaton early-on in the Eagles loss that he dropped for a sure TD — is still the quarterback of this football team.
I’d put my trust in Ben that he’s not going to let this loss linger or dawdle around this team; that he’s going to have that high-powered Steelers offense scoring around 30 points many more days than it scores 3 points.
Know why else this is a very good football team? Because Antonio Brown is one of the finest receivers in football, a dynamic talent who can take over a game and cause fits for the opposing secondary.
Know why else this is a very good football team? The offensive line played an atypical horrendous game against a stout Eagles front on Sunday. It will be most gamedays this season that the Steelers’ grunts up front on offense win the confrontation with the gentlemen across the scrimmage line from them.
With all that said, this isn’t saying anything of the Steelers’ defense, a defense that had given up a ton of yards but not a lot of points — until they faced the Eagles who turned seemingly everything they touched into a touchdown.
Even still, relax. Don’t panic. Take it easy.
It was never a defense that was counted on to win games, but one called upon to keep them in games and have that potent Steelers offense eventually outscore the opponent.
To me — and maybe I’m being too positive — I see that coming. I see that coming in the form of Le’Veon Bell returning this weekend. I see Roethlisberger getting not just a forceful runner back, but one of the finest pass-catchers out of the backfield in the NFL back, providing even more a punch in that air game.
And with that, he won’t have to throw the ball to a guy like Wheaton in a key situation.
I see much of the offense working through Bell, a guy who in the past seems to thrive off a gazillion touches.
So, maybe it’s just me, but I’m far from panicking about the Eagles loss. Conversely, I’m eager to see what this offense does when Bell comes back.
The guess here is that his infusion into the offense might make you forget all about what happened on Sunday in Philadelphia.
Colin Dunlap is a featured columnist at CBSPittsburgh.com. He can also be heard weekdays from 5:40 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Sports Radio 93-7 “The Fan.” You can e-mail him at email@example.com. Check out his bio here.