Ajlawgic equates going into December with coming out of December. As in, going into December 2005, we had some questions that the final month resolved. Coming out of December 2007, we had myriad questions that were unlikely to be miraculously turned around in a playoff game situation. I appreciate the abbreviated logic, which makes for more palatable board reading, but the two situations are utterly unlike.
Maybe you thought this year's model could "go on a sick run," but the time to do that is historically not when the postseason begins. Look at how most SB winners finished the season, and you'll see that a December swoon ain't usually the path. The '05 Steelers did in fact follow the model by finishing strong. And I'll stand by my assertion of that '05 thread that, at that time, we had not shown the pattern of building a season from the early wins; we were just coming out that mid-season slump. Hindsight is nifty, law, because no one here foresaw the run we were about to go on. But the fact that we had just come off three losses (13-16 at Balty OT, 7-26 MNF @ Indy, and 31-38 to Cinci) would not typically lead to rampant optimism.
But of course we went on to win 4 straight in December, and then ride through the playoffs. Now, the '07 Steelers lost 3 of 4 and 4 of 6, so the idea of a clean slate is willfully ignorant of playoff trends. Going on a "sick run" is also less likely when Ward is hurt (knee surgery this week), Holmes is hurt (IMO, was still slow vs. Jax), when you've lost your LT and his backup, when your 1300 yard rusher is gone for the season, when your Pro Bowl RDE is gone for the season and his backups are shit, when you can't stop the run versus the team you're going to face in the playoffs, when you can't stop the run versus Musa fuckign Smith and Cory fucking Ross, when you have your starting FS out and his backup is benched after being demoralized and his backup is slow as mud, when your Pro Bowl SS linchpin is playing hurt (shoulder), when your special teams are possibly the worst in memory (and that's saying a lot)... I mean, sure, maybe if the Falcons were allowed a spot in the playoffs they could go on a sick fucking run too, but chances are that ain't fucking happening.
And I realize the sniffy "apparently, Pittsburgh shouldn't have even bothered to show up to play in the first place" is for effect, but I thought that despite the inconsistencies (in all your Arians rants, did you ever mention that Ben had a Steelers postseason record-tying worst THREE INTs?) we still had our shot, and delivered a helluva thrilling game.
Incidentally, I never said Arians called a good game or had a good season. IMO, he was part and parcel of the overall inconsistency... But then again, even LeBeau called some bad games down the stretch. I don't think that it's so very unreasonable to say that in a year where injuries played a major role down the stretch, where glaring deficiencies were obvious on the OL, where players didn't execute well all year, and with a new HC and OC, that maybe a little patience is called for, to allow things to set up a bit. I don't think it's unreasonable to say that Arians should be critiqued but not fired, and that we should expect continuous improvement, and for the team as a whole to be more consistent.
All things being cyclical, I think we had an obvious down year last year, showed some improvement this year, and will be better still next year. It's easy and reactionary to say Arians should be canned after one year, but the net effect would be more disruptive than productive. Maybe it's a simple thing, to bring in a new HC, to revamp the playbook, install some new stuff offensively, give the QB more responsibility in calling assignments, and for the OC to be the overseer of a new WRs coach and OL coach and QB coach. I don't see it that way, and am willing to cut just a wee bit of slack, but I guess I am in the very small minority.
And frankly, I've spent much more time on this topic than I ever thought I would, and I'm done with it now. So if you gots more to say, power to ya, bro. I'm moving on to watch the Patriots (hopefully) lose, and see how we do in the draft.