By all accounts, the Steelers should have absolutely walloped the Jets today. Pittsburgh looked like one of the best teams in the NFL. They'd won four of five, roaring into first place in the AFC North behind a historic few weeks from Ben Roethlisberger. The Jets looked like one of the worst teams in the NFL, losers of eight straight, many of them blowouts. This should have been another blowout.
Instead, something happened to the Steelers. They hung out with Justin Bieber.
Arthur Moats (@dabody52) November 9, 2014
Suddenly, things that Pittsburgh should have done easily were immense struggles.
Ben Roethlisberger couldn't throw
Roethlisberger entered the game with six touchdowns in each of his past two games. Those 12 touchdowns across two games were an NFL record. The NFL has been a league for 90 years, and thousands upon thousands of quarterbacks have played back-to-back games, and nobody had been as good across two games as Roethlisberger.
Meanwhile, the Jets had allowed 24 passing touchdowns on the season, the most in the NFL. The most in the NFL by a lot: No other team had allowed more than 18. Meanwhile, they had only intercepted one pass on the year in nine games, last in the NFL. Any reasonable analysis of the game should have predicted an offensive explosion, with Roethlisberger throwing touchdown after touchdown after touchdown against a hapless Jets D:
Instead, he looked like this:
Roethlisberger threw two picks, twice as many as the Jets had made all year. This one was just a horrendous throw. The other was miraculous tip drill. In the last two minutes of the game, Roethlisberger threw an 80-yard TD to Martavis Bryant, but his performance was still a far cry from the brilliance of the last two weeks.
The worst defense played the best quarterback and for the majority of the game, made him look like the worst quarterback. This should not happen.
The turnover-prone team didn't turn it over, the other team did
The Jets came into the game with three forced turnovers, worst in the league, and 18 giveaways, third-worst in the league -- by far the worst ratio in the league. So of course.
Antonio Brown had lost two career fumbles coming into today. Has doubled that number. Just a bad first half all around for #Steelers— Dale Lolley (@dlolleyor) November 9, 2014
This should have been an easy William Gay pick:
A lightly floated ball with no competition close enough to make a difference, right at Gay's hands. Instead, he flubbed it.
The Jets more than doubled their season takeaway total with two picks and two fumble recoveries. Meanwhile, they didn't turn the ball over once, for only the second time on the season.
Long story short, nothing went right for Pittsburgh
This should've been a 23-yard chip shot:
Instead it was the shortest miss of the NFL season.
Is it fair to blame all this on Justin Bieber? No, of course not! All these things would probably have gone wrong regardless of whether or not a few players met up for Bible study with a pop icon the night before.
However: is it fun to blame all this on Justin Bieber? Yes. Yes it is. It's fun to believe that because the team hung out with a singer a lot of people love and a lot of people love to hate, the Steelers were stricken with a curse that completely disabled their ability to do even the simplest football tasks. So we will believe that.