The Steelers finished 8-8 after a 6-3 start, so their final grades aren't going to be pretty after that final semester's work. Injuries undermined an already thin lineup, with players considered regulars or starters missing a sum total of 60 games this season. But the standard of play dropped precipitously in the final half of the season, with that 2-5 finish.
On Thursday, the day after tight end Heath Miller and cornerback Ike Taylor were added to IR, it was announced that Steelers teammates named their Pro Bowl tight end as team MVP -- the same day Miller underwent knee surgery. Here is the Rapid Reports version of team MVPs.
After losing five of their previous six games, the Steelers produced a season-high four turnovers and turned two of them into touchdowns. That proved to be the difference in a 24-10 defeat of Cleveland that pulled the door closed on a season draped in mediocrity and disappointment.
A few days after a report said that Chargers coach Norv Turner and GM A.J. Smith would be fired at the end of the season, San Diego played its best game so far in 2012, upsetting the Steelers 34-24 on Sunday in Pittsburgh.