If it was not clear after the Oakland game, it is now painfully obvious after the loss to lowly Tenn. that the 2012 edition of the Steelers is not playoff worthy. Actually, they may struggle to be a .500 team.
Three Super Bowls in five years placed this team on a glide path towards mediocrity and the landing may be bumpy. We Steeler fans experienced this in the early 80's when stars long in the tooth and recent draft picks full of promise but empty on big game experience muddled around the NFL for a few years winning approximately half of their games. It seems to me we are there again. I think we have to face facts. The only reason this team remains capable of the occasional win against a quality opponent is No. 7 running around making plays. There is no continuity on offense and the defense is unable to make plays to get off the field when it counts.
The rebuilding is taking place. The offensive line next year, when DeCastro returns and Adams has a year under his belt will be younger, stronger and more prepared. The receiving corps is top notch and a Mike Wallace signing away from being solid for years. We drafted to get younger on the DL but the LB's must be replenished and the young guns in the secondary have to develop further. There are still a lot of "ifs".
In the meantime, accept the Steelers for what they are: two notches below the Ravens, Texans and Patriots. The completion of the NHL collective bargaining agreement can't come soon enough.