Thank you Bruce Arians.
Despite the Flying Circus leaving town four years ago, BA continues to do his former team favors. Earlier in the year, he thoughtfully brought his typical “Pile up a ton of yards but settle for field goals” style of offense to Pittsburgh and let Landry Jones beat him with a series of big plays. Last night, he did us another solid by guiding the Cardinals to a last second victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. After starting the season 8-0, the Bungles have suddenly lost two in a row.
Which means the Pittsburgh Steelers are officially back in the hunt for the AFC North.
Meanwhile, the Baltimore Ravens won their third game of the season. In the process, they lost both starting running back Justin Forsett and quarterback Joe Flacco for the season. Flacco’s injury was particularly serious as he tore both his ACL and MCL. He’ll return next year but if you recall Tom Brady and Carson Palmer suffering similar injuries, both guys had a really hard time returning to form their first year back.
With the Ravens an endangered species, it looks like a two team race in the AFC North. Ironically, the game which might come back to haunt the Black and Gold is their loss to the Ratbirds. The Steelers and Bengals each have one game left against every team in the division. Assuming we both win out against the bottom feeders with the Steelers winning the rematch in Cincy, the Bengals would win the division by virtue of the Divisional Record tiebreaker. The lone blemish on the Steelers AFC North record would of course be the loss to Baltimore, a game we would’ve won if not for having the worst kicker in NFL history.
Josh Scobee continues to be the gift that keeps on givin’.
Of course, there’s a lot of ifs and buts in that scenario. What we know for sure is the Bengals are now 8-2 and while they hold a head-to-head victory, the Steelers will have a chance to even the score. Cincy’s once insurmountable lead suddenly looks very mountable. Meanwhile, Baltimore is turning to Matt Schaub as their fan base begins to ponder the possibility of competing for the first overall pick. To them all I have say is, “Sorry about your damn luck.”
The door has been opened for the Steelers. Now it’s up to them to crash the party.