Steelers salvage the season with a blowout win over the Bengals
The Pittsburgh Steelers were just one loss away from losing all playoff hopes for the 2019 sesaon. Here’s why their victory over the Bengals keeps that dream alive.
The Steelers were hard to watch in week one. They were humiliated by the New England Patriots up and down the field in a game that made them look like one of the worst teams in football.
Weeks two and three got better for Pittsburgh, but the Steelers ultimately found themselves on the losing end of matchups that were decided by just 2 and 4 points against the Seahawks and 49ers, respectively.
However, Monday Night may have ignited the change the Steelers needed to salvage their 2019 season. Though Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals aren’t exactly the cream of the crop when it comes to NFL competition, Mason Rudolph and company took care of business in a must-win game.
The Steelers were playing with their hair on fire, as the entire defense stepped up their performance. T.J Watt and Stephon Tuitt continue to be forces that opposing offensive lines simply cannot block, while players like Mark Barron and rookie Devin Bush stepped up their games.
Dropping to 0-4 on the season would have been devastating for the Steelers and, realistically, the end of the road. Though Pittsburgh was slight favorites in this one, they did exactly what needed to be done as the stepped on Cincinnati in a 27-3 blowout victory.
The win keeps the Steelers playoff hopes alive. Next Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens come to town. While Pittsburgh can ill-afford to fall to 1-4 on the season, a win (remarkably) would give the Steelers the same record as Baltimore after next week.
If Pittsburgh beats the Ravens and the Cleveland Browns lose to the 49ers next week, they would be the number one seed in the AFC North with two divisional wins under their belt. This would be a far cry from the team we saw in week one.
It’s entirely possible Pittsburgh could pull this off and regain the best odds of winning the division this sesaon. However, a win next week is critical. Monday Night’s massacre of the Bengals could be the boost they need to help salvage their 2019 season.