Unbeaten Steelers focusing on Washington, not perfection

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Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) tries to fend off Baltimore Ravens cornerback Tramon Williams after making a catch during the second half of an NFL football game Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

PITTSBURGH – The weeks are starting to run together into a seemingly never-ending avalanche of news and adjustments as the NFL tries to navigate a season in the middle of a pandemic.

So forgive the Pittsburgh Steelers if they're not exactly caught up in the hype — or maybe lack of hype — surrounding their perfect start.

At the moment, they're having enough trouble figuring out when they're playing.

Monday evening's visit by the red-hot (by NFC East standards) Washington Football Team (4-7) was originally scheduled for Sunday before being bumped back by the NFL after Pittsburgh's game against Baltimore set for Thanksgiving night was moved three times because of a COVID-19 outbreak among the Ravens.

It's ... a lot, particularly in a sport where the week-to-week routines have been disrupted. Yes, the Steelers are unbeaten. Yet their lingering “0” in the loss column seems like an afterthought of sorts given everything else going on, even to them.

“The record this year, just kind of feels weird, this whole COVID year,” guard David DeCastro said. “I know we're 11-0, but I think things in this day and age, you don't really look too far ahead or behind. You're just kind of stuck in the moment."

That might not be a bad thing. Washington coach Ron Rivera was a linebacker on the 1985 Chicago Bears team that won its first 12 games on the way to a Super Bowl and the head coach of the 2015 Carolina Panthers team that won its first 14 games.

“One thing we did try to do is we tried to avoid the conversation of (going undefeated),” Rivera said. "When you start getting ahead and start thinking about the next one, the next one and even the next one after that, now you’ve put yourself in a tough spot.”