Four consecutive losses put the Steelers at the bottom of the AFC North. Is it too late for Mike Tomlin to save the season?
Watching the Steelers struggle is difficult, especially for fans who have supported the franchise throughout the decades. A tradition of winning has become the standard for most enthusiasts who call the black and gold their team of choice – making the start to this season unbearable to watch.
A lethargic offense is a concern for the front office for a consecutive year. In 2021, Ben Roethlisberger’s veteran presence provided a smokescreen for a struggling offense. His playmaking abilities extended drives that lacked promise – helping the Steelers sneak into the playoffs.
Steelers fail to produce enough points to compete
No.7’s retirement unveiled a slew of issues on the offense, including their need for a replacement gunslinger. Their recent playoff berth became irrelevant as the team searched for solutions to maintain dominance. Investments in Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett in the off-season were insurance options for Tomlin’s squad – and the results have not been reassuring. In five weeks of football, the Steelers have scored only 77 points – ranking third worst in the league.
Four consecutive losses erased the momentum Pittsburgh gained after their week one victory. Canada’s offense looked stagnant against the Bengals, but the Steelers still pulled out the dub. Teryl Austin’s defense created five turnovers, while Trubisky and the offense remained conservative. A stout defensive performance came with a cost. In the fourth quarter, T.J Watt experienced a torn pectoral injury – forcing the edge rusher to miss several games.
Steelers need to find answers for an important slate of upcoming games
It’s been a minute since fans witnessed a similar defensive showing. Since Week 1, Pittsburgh has been outscored 108-54. Loses to the Patriots, Browns, Jets, and Bills raise concerns for enthusiasts who expected the Steelers to build off their win against the AFC Champions. Instead of building momentum, Pittsburgh has entered a drought.
A fourth of the regular season has passed, and franchises are shifting their focus toward making a post-season run. Mike Tomlin’s participation in the post-season is almost guaranteed, but what about this season? An intense schedule will alter the Steelers’ chances of advancing to the playoffs this season – putting their head coach’s consecutive winning season record in jeopardy.
Tom Brady and the Buccaneers are next on the schedule, and the road does not get any easier. Following Tampa Bay, the Steelers will take on the Dolphins, Eagles, and Bengals heading into November. An intense upcoming schedule will force Tomlin’s coaching staff to find solutions to their struggles urgently. A losing streak in November is detrimental for a franchise that has made a tradition of making the playoffs.