Ah yes, the Pittsburgh Steelers. A group who, time and time again, has proved that superior skill alone can't win football games as they continually take the emphasis off pretty much all the things that the characters in The Wizard Of Oz were desperately seeking. Maybe this seems counterintuitive given the fact that football is a physical game that's largely predicated on getting the better of the person lined up across from you, but - as the failures of a team with transcendent talent at multiple skill positions and a Super Bowl champion both on the sideline and under center has proved - it's also an intellectual game in which heartless tin scarecrows rarely ever succeed.
Obviously it would be disingenuous to call a playoff participant dysfunctional, but I'll be damned if the most enigmatic and ego-driven team in the NFL isn't a slight drop off in talent away from showing it's full array of foundational flaws. Winning cultures typically drowned out distractions, while some of the most important members of the Steelers organization basically scaled the highest of mountains to plea their case for focus-diverting attention.
In the last two weeks alone they had their offensive coordinator get injured in the type of NYE bar scuffle that you'd expect out of someone whose young enough to be his son, their superstar running back threaten early retirement, and one of their veteran defensive backs guarantee victory in a game they won't even be fucking playing in. Call me crazy, but I hardly find it to be a surprise that the execution was off and the play calling was questionable when the team in question was approximately as mentally prepared for an opponent that already kicked their ever-loving ass earlier in the season as they were to begin shit talking their opponent after next. Accountability is usually a top down trait, so 'shocked' isn't exactly the word that comes to mind when you tell me the team whose head coach is infamous for finger pointing failed to meet expectations.
Honestly, it's almost poetic that the Steelers' season unofficially ended when they handed the Jaguars a field goal with a laughably unnecessary onside kick, because being too scared to trust your defense in a big spot against Blake Bortles was an undeniable sign that their bravado is complete bullshit. They are a team in uniform only, because there's nothing they have said or done that would lead you to believe that Mike Tomlin's locker room is a cohesive one.