According to the crack research team here at Blog 'N' Gold (read: me and the media guide) it is entirely too early to count the Steelers out of anything at this early juncture in the season.
Since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, the Steelers have started the season with a 1-2 record 8 times. But in five of those seasons, the Steelers made the playoffs, most recently in in 2002 which ended with the Steelers losing to the Titans in the infamous Joe Nedney-takes-a-dive AFC Divisional game.
Out of those five playoff seasons, the Steelers advanced to the AFC Championship twice -- once in 1997 when they came a FG short of the Super Bowl; the other in 1976 which is often regarded as the best Steelers team not to win the Super Bowl.
The Steelers' last 1-2 start was during the 2006 Super Bowl XL hangover/Bill Cowher-is-mailing-it-in season. The Steelers did not make the playoffs. And that brings us to another figure: 1 and 3. Drop that start down to 1-3 -- which the Steelers have also done 8 times -- and the Steelers have only qualified for the playoffs twice in that scenario -- again the 1976 and 2002 teams.
So you can take this to mean two things: 1. That the Steelers season is far from over, a win Sunday night will go a long way to righting the ship; 2. However, they'd best get that win Sunday to have a decent shot at playing January football.
But if they lose Sunday, and you want some red meat to chew on, you might wonder how the Steelers offense has time for this ...