What a Sunday.
What a crashing together of all the forces that needed to crash together — with absolute perfection — for the Pittsburgh Steelers to elongate the season into the postseason.READ MORE: Pennsylvania To Ease Restrictions Before Reopening May 31
The Steelers won.
The Bills won.
People in western Pennsylvania had their blood pressure skyrocket to levels near when Jerome Bettis famously fumbled.
You bit your fingernails off, paced 16 miles, had butterflies in your stomach that almost made you vomit and now you can finally relax, right?
Or can you? No way.
You see, that’s the thing here with all of this: The nervous times don’t end with the Steelers pulling out a 28-12 victory against the hapless Cleveland Browns and getting some help to the east from the Buffalo Bills. In a way, they just begin because of what happened to DeAngelo Williams as the Steelers were busy getting past those miserably bad Browns.
Williams, who took over the top spot on the ground when Le’Veon Bell was lost for the season, suffered a setback of his own on Sunday, getting his ankle rolled up from behind in the first half.
The severity of his injury and how long it will keep him out is unknown.
Williams returned to the sideline for a time but, as Sunday’s win roared from the first into the second half, Williams was downgraded from “questionable” to “out.” With such an occurrence, Fitzgerald Toussaint became the Steelers’ primary rusher.
I hate to be this guy in the aftermath of a big Steelers victory and in the midst of a celebratory time, but here’s some reality slapping everyone right in the face: In my opinion, there’s no way the Steelers are winning a playoff game with Toussaint as their top guy on the ground.
I mean, I guess he was serviceable against the Browns as he carried the ball a more-than-expected 12 times, but the blunt reality is that he gained just 24 yards.
That won’t be good enough in the playoff, especially not with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger throwing interceptions at an alarming rate and any semblance of a ground game perhaps taking the burden off of Ben’s right arm.READ MORE: Doctors Say It Could Be A Battle To Convince Some Parents To Vaccinate Their Kids
Here’s some more reality: The Steelers probably aren’t winning a playoff game signing a guy off the street to tote the rock, either.
We all remember how things went last season in the Wild Card game when the Steelers needed to count on the duo of Josh Harris and Ben Tate, right? The pair mustered 44 yards between them on 14 carries in a loss at home to the Ravens.
This time, the game will be on the road.
This time, there’s no way (again) the Steelers can win with some down-the-liner.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, in his postgame media availability after the Cleveland win, was pretty much mum on the situation — or, perhaps, he just said as much as he knew.
“He’s got an ankle and we don’t know the extent of that,” Tomlin said of Williams.
Tomlin added: “We’re not counting DeAngelo out just yet. We’ll see where it is.”
I’ll tell you where Steelers fans should be all week in the run up to the playoff game. In church.
On a kneeler.
Cranking out rosary after rosary for a healthy DeAngelo Williams.
In my estimation, without him in the playoff game, I’m not giving this team much of a chance.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out his bio here.MORE NEWS: 6-Year-Old Saves Baby Brother Who Nearly Drowned In Fish Tank