The Pittsburgh Steelers moved to 8-0 on Sunday. Considering they played the now 2-7 Dallas Cowboys, that might not come as a shock. But it should. This game did not play out as expected.
The Steelers, the only remaining undefeated team left in the NFL, were a 14-point favorite. They are also the favorite to win the AFC, even over the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.
Dallas, on the other hand, is down to its fourth-string quarterback. The season-ending injury to Dak Prescott has been well documented. So have the struggles from backups Andy Dalton (concussion) and Ben DiNucci.
That left 29-year-old journeyman Garrett Gilbert, who hasn’t even been on the roster for a month.
The former Texas/SMU quarterback was drafted in the sixth-round back in 2014. He spent part of the 2019 season in the AAF with the Orlando Apollos. He was 2-of-6 for 40 yards in his NFL career coming into Sunday.
That is the guy Pittsburgh had to prep for this weekend. It is no wonder the Cowboys were two-touchdown dogs, right? Well, Dallas led for most of the game.
It wasn’t until a late fourth-quarter touchdown that the Steelers took a 24-19 lead, which ended up being the final score. And Gilbert still almost led the Cowboys to a final drive that finished with a game-winning touchdown.
It was a serviceable performance, even with other key Dallas players on the offensive line and on defense sidelined by injuries.
So, how does that happen? How does a team depleted with injuries and on its fourth starting quarterback go toe-to-toe with the top team in the AFC? How does this game end up being so close, especially since the Steelers did not commit any turnovers?
Honestly, it is hard to answer these questions. All we can say is that it is the NFL, and it is 2020. Weird things happen sometimes. Games like the one we witnessed between Dallas and Pittsburgh prove that any team can win on any given Sunday.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.