Steelers vs. Jets: Winners and losers from Pittsburgh’s Week 16 loss

Alejandro Villanueva #78 (R) and guard Ramon Foster #73 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Alejandro Villanueva #78 (R) and guard Ramon Foster #73 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Unable to score more than 10 points for a second week, here are the winners and losers in the Pittsburgh Steelers 10-16 loss to the New York Jets.

Everything about the Steelers offensive performance in Week 16 was unbearable to fans. Not just because the loss occurred against the now 6-9 New York Jets, but everything that was wrong about this season collapsed into one game and may have sealed Pittsburgh’s fate this year.

The defense only allowed 16 points to a football team that averages 17.5 per game, as the offense provided no spark and turned the ball over multiple times for a third week in a row. Already an inability to gain any momentum, a QB change mid-game was necessary due to inefficiency. Pittsburgh was forced to revert back to quarterback Mason Rudolph, who was benched for the same exact reason not even a month ago.

In angst watching the game, one could only laugh at the situation, but then be disappointed at how much lost potential this year has served for Pittsburgh. Great in the areas they do well, but terrible in the ones they aren’t, Pittsburgh’s 10-16 loss to the Jets was the microcosm of the 2019 season.


Mike Tomlin

The pendulum swing that HC Mike Tomlin received this year has been gracious. Beginning the year, a growing acceptance began to arise in the NFL circles asking for Tomlin’s job. Having previous elite talent such as WR Antonio Brown and RB Le’Veon Bell but nothing to show for it, the antics that came with both plus the ugly departures devalued his greatest ability. The ultimate player-coach was no more.

In his defense, much of it wasn’t self-inflicting and there were never ill words spoken of them. It’s always been preached to earn dominance and that ”I’ll tolerate you until I can replace you”. And if that didn’t perfectly picture yesterday’s game plus this season, then I don’t know what will.

Instead of catching heat, people appreciated the work Tomlin has done this season. The successors to both names listed above have dealt with injuries and in their time of being healthy, have not made much of an impact. Both backup quarterbacks have a combined 17 game appearances, and play like it. However, his defensive experience has leveled his unit to a historical pace, along with DC Keith Butler.

The Steelers fell short, but their problems simply uplifted that Tomlin still reigns as one of the better coaches, and is most deserving of HCOY candidacy plus more years in the Steel City.