The Steelers earned a much-needed victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Here’s what we learned from the improbable win.
What a game and what a win. It seems like it has been forever since we are able to discuss a Steelers win, but thanks to a gritty effort, we beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to secure our second victory of the 2022 season.
Honestly, I had little hope that we would beat the Bucs considering how decimated we were on defense entering the game, but if there was any game where Mike Tomlin needed to showcase his famous ‘the standard is the standard’ mantra, this was the game.
One game will not define a season, but this win against Tom Brady and the Bucs could be the catalyst that will turn around the Steelers season from woeful to hopeful. Let’s see what we learned on offense.
The Steelers offense did just enough to secure a win against the Buccaneers
A win is a win is a win, as I have stated several times in previous discussions. I think it’s fair to say that the offense is still very much a work in progress. According to ESPN, we amassed less than three hundred yards, despite running sixty-one plays and despite possessing the ball for a second under thirty minutes.
I am by no means looking a gift horse in the mouth, so to speak, but had it not been for an incredibly gritty performance by the defense, we very well could have lost this game. After an incredible kick return by Steven Sims to open up the second half, we got the ball at the twelve-yard line of the Bucs.
The drive bogged down and we had to settle for a field goal. That could have been the difference in the game. If an NFL offense cannot gain twelve yards, that’s not good at all. While the failure to score a TD on that drive did not come back to haunt us, it very well could have. Let’s see what we learned on defense.
The Steelers defense played inspired football to help secure victory over the Bucs
Heading into this game against the Bucs, the defense was without several starters. I think it was a foregone conclusion that the end result would be another loss. As it turned out, the defense played probably the best game of the season.
While it was not without miscues and missed opportunities, the defense got stops when we needed them, holding the Bucs to a third down conversion rate of twenty-eight and a half percent. I firmly believe that was the difference in the game.
What was also the difference in the game is that we were able to apply pressure and force Brady into errant throws. Sans said pressure, the result may have been different, but, fortunately, it was not. We earned a much-needed win, one that could very well have saved the season.
Let’s see what else we learned.
The Steelers responded to adversity in the manner we expected
With our backs against the wall and potentially facing a four-game losing streak, Tomlin rallied the troops. The offense played better but was still not perfect. The defense played unbelievably well considering the injuries with which we were dealing.
The performance by the defense begs this question: Why can’t we play that way every game? I realize every game unfolds differently but imagine if the Steelers defense had played the way we played against the Bucs all year long.
I dare say we would be undefeated right now, but that is not the boat in which we find ourselves. That boat is a boat of a two-win team with lots of room for improvement. Against the Bucs, we did enough to win. The question is can we keep the momentum going? I guess only time will tell.