By ETHAN BLACK – For the past eleven weeks, fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers have been treated with a current 10-0, undefeated season. This season was almost suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so many local fans are thankful to have the games as if they were a perk.
One of the major questions heading into this season was the status of veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who missed nearly the entire 2019-2020 season with an elbow injury. “Big Ben,” as most call him, has not missed a game this season and is playing like he was ten years ago. A few IHS students commented on who they think has had the greatest impact on the season so far and all of them claimed Roethlisberger as the team’s saving grace.
“I think returning QB Big Ben has had the biggest impact on the season,” claimed senior Jack Fischer. “Having your HOF QB back with a loaded defense has allowed the Steelers to soar past expectations.”
The wide receiver armory that Pittsburgh has built, including the likes of second year stud Diontae Johnson, veteran Juju Smith-Schuster, and Rookie of the Year candidate Chase Claypool are another major highlight of what the undefeated Steelers are bringing to the table. Claypool, the Steelers second-round pick in the 2020 Draft, has amassed eight touchdowns in his first 10 games as a Pittsburgh wide-out, and has caught 60% of his targeted passes.
Although this reborn offense has brought the heat the past few weeks, the Pittsburgh defense has been the heart and soul of the team’s current record. Having already beaten the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, and Tennessee Titans, all currently battling for playoff spots, Pittsburgh is dominating the division with the help of the explosive linebacker duo T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree.
The seasoned duo combine for seventeen sacks out the team total thirty-eight, while new-found duo Vince Williams and newcomer Avery Williamson have thirty-seven tackles each. Williamson, who was recently acquired in a trade with the New York Jets, is filling in for recently injured inside-linebacker Devin Bush, who tore his ACL in week six versus the Browns.
And it doesn’t stop there, Pittsburgh’s backfield has moved up into the top ranks among the league. Safeties Terrell Edmunds and Minkah Fitzpatrick seem to not go a game without an interception, combining for six, and rank second and third overall in team defense.
But enough about statistics, let’s find out how students at IHS are handling the feeling of being undefeated.
Waking up on Mondays has never been more delightful, and the Steelers are the sweetener in most people’s coffee at they roll up to school and work. Yet, it is amazing that less than twelve hours prior, most of these fans are in an emotional frenzy.
“It depends on the game, if it’s a big game I’m usually a nervous wreck,” stated senior Kaden Duffee. “Actually, I’m a nervous wreck no matter the game. I always end up with a headache by the end of the night.”
Some fans are overlooking the current social climate come gameday. Noah Hutton, a junior, noted, “The Steeler’s undefeated season has given this weird year some new hope because every Sunday I know what I’m going to be doing. With the stakes being as high as ever, this is definitely the most I have ever been invested in a football season.”
Who knows what the season will bring come late-January and early-February. My hope is that Roger Wood’s “Here We Go” is heard nearly once a day virtually or physically at IHS (I’d like this to be like it was in 2010, but with a different outcome), and the scares of COVID are lessened by a potential Sunday night in warm Tampa Bay.
[Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports]
Photo Caption: Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Juju Smith-Shuster has been an integral part of this year’s team success.
Ethan is a senior and a first-year reporter for the High Arrow. He enjoys selling clothes and is a part of Key Club and Leadership. He is excited to begin writing for the school and his fellow colleagues.