Steelers fans grow delusional after the win over Tampa Bay
The Steelers had an astonishing victory over Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. It helped break the four-game losing streak the Steelers were on.
Everyone stepped up on the Steelers team. 2nd and 3rd string players comprised a large portion of the Steelers defense on Sunday, as many starters missed the contest. Not many predicted a positive outcome; however, the Steelers defensive and offensive players alike reached deep inside to find that something extra ad willed themselves to victory.
Coach Tomlin deserves a round of applause for his prep work in preparing a game plan to face Tampa. Tomlin was able to devise a game plan that pressured Brady enough to force him into what he has never done well, making him scramble and throw the ball. Brady functions much better when he has proper pocket protection. Everyone did their best on Sunday, and it showed.
However, if you were to read Twitter following the Steelers victory, you might get the impression that the Steelers won the AFC title game or something. Some turned Tomlin’s upset vs. the Buccaneers into being about how Mitch Trubisky was an amazing hero.
Sure Pittsburgh, on the whole, played a great game. However, let’s not get delusional about the victory. The Steelers won one game; they are 2-4. Nothing much has happened to solve the problems the Steelers have experienced this season. Do not let the Pittsburgh victory over the Buccaneers go to your head here’s why.
Tom Brady was not prepared to play the Steelers
Tom Brady has a 12-3 record all-time against Pittsburgh. The Tom Brady we saw play against the Steelers was not the same Tom Brady of old. He played a terrible game. He was off-sync with his receivers, the Steelers found a way to beat his offensive line and pressure Brady, and the Buccaneers had no answer.
There can be any number of explanations. Perhaps the most cliché is that the Buccaneers looked past the Steelers. Yes, perhaps it is a cliché, but the Buccaneers had no answer for the Pittsburgh defense. No one was on the same page, and Brady made one poor pass after another. While you have to credit the Steelers defense for a well-done job, there are also other factors, which show that Tom Brady had never fully prepared to face the black and gold on Sunday.
When Tom Brady could have spent time working on his game plan against the Steelers, he decided to go to a wedding. Robert Kraft decided to get married on a Friday night. While it appears Krafts wedding did not influence the Patriots, you must assume it had some influence on Brady. He even flew in on a private jet separate from the team to Pittsburgh. You cannot argue that his decision to go to Robert Kraft’s wedding was good. It cost the Buccaneers the chance at having a 4-2 record. On top of that, Atlanta tied with Tampa Bay at 3-3. The loss seriously hurt their playoff chances in some capacity.
To make matters worse for Brady, former Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown started playing mind games with Brady on Twitter over his pending divorce from Gisele Bundchen.
It’s safe to deduce that the Antonio mind games at least distracted Brady to the point that it kept him from properly prepping for Sunday’s game. Perhaps you accept that or not yet; the Buccaneers played a poor game that started with Tom Brady. Now you can not conclusively prove that it affected Brady on Sunday, yet the final score results are conclusive: the Buccaneers lost, and Tom Brady did not have a great game.
Mitch did not play that well for the Steelers
It seems like fans saw what they wanted to see on Sunday. Mitch comes off the bench, and now everyone is like, wow, Mitch won the game for the Steelers. Yes, Mitch played well, but he never did anything spectacular here’s why.
While Mitch had a decent game Sunday, you must realize that when Kenny Pickett took over the starting role, Mitch Trubisky became a backup quarterback. When he entered the game in the third quarter, he had one task preserve the Steelers lead.
As a back up he performed the task of making plays when he needed to, especially on the last drive of the 4th quarter. However, before that drive, Trubisky only had one huge game-changing play, which was near the start of the 4th quarter when he hit Connor Heyward for 45 yards. However, you can not credit Trubisky for making a huge play. First, the Buccaneers had too many players on the field; they knew it and tried to call a time out.
However, in trying to call time out, the refs did not blow the whistle, and it ended up being a live play. The player charged with covering Heyward never covered him. He was still trying to call time out. As a result, Trubisky hit Heyward, who was not covered and gained 45 yards setting up the Chase Claypool touchdown. Had the Bucs called time out, the play result could have been much different.
You can not credit Mitch with the win when he did everything a backup quarterback needed to do. It could have been another loss if Mitch had started the game. Fans need to appreciate the job Kenny Pickett did; granted, Pickett was not perfect; he made some mistakes, but again, the kid is not Big Ben. He is not winning his first 15 straight. There are things he needs to learn. These mistakes become inexcusable in two or three seasons, but you do need to realize he’s a rookie, and not every rookie plays like Roethlisberger out of the box; he was the rare exception.
The fact of the matter is that the Steelers will only impede Pickett’s development if they pull him in favor of putting Mitch back in. Trubisky should only start if Pickett can not recover from his concussion for the Dolphins game; after that, Pickett should resume his starter role.
Steelers are playing in a weak division
Look at the AFC North, it’s a disaster in progress. If you think the win changes much, you are sadly mistaken. Pittsburgh improved to 2-4. That feat is nothing impressive by any stretch of the imagination. The Ravens are 3-3, and the Bengals are 3-3. The Steelers are 2-4; they are only two games out of first in the AFC North.
The Steelers beat the Bengals in overtime for their only win leading up to the Buccaneers game. They have yet to play the Ravens, games against the Ravens are unpredictable at best, and the Ravens are not exactly showing that Lamar Jackson is worth giving an extension. The Browns, despite beating Pittsburgh have only managed to show that victory may have been a fluke; they have fared no better and share a 2-4 record with the black and gold. The Bengals are having a pitiful season for having played in the Superbowl.
It’s not like the Steelers poor start has closed the door on winning the AFC north. Even starting 2-4, they can get back in the race of winning the AFC North since no one else in their division is even putting up a fight to eliminate the Steelers from contention. It’s sad to a degree when the Steelers start 2-4 and remain only two games out of first, especially in the AFC North. It would help if you asked how bad the AFC North is. All the other teams try to boast how much better they are than Pittsburgh, and 3-3 is the best any team can do so far. It’s a pansy division in 2022.
In the remainder of their season Steelers play four divisional games; as bad as the rest of the AFC is playing it’s fair to assume Pittsburgh could win perhaps three of them. Given that before the season started, that notion may have seemed impossible.
The Steelers normally play better in October
If you study Steelers history, the Steelers generally never play exceptionally well in September. However, as the season moves forward, they start to gel and play better as a collective. So as Pittsburgh fans, we should not be surprised that they played a good game and knocked off the Buccaneers. They were bound to rebound at some point in October. It’s what the Steelers do. Now that the team is gelling to one degree or another, does that mean Tomlin still has a winning season? No, it means they won a game.
In the preseason, most thought the Steelers would have it very rough after the Jets’ game. Even gelling as a unit, the Steelers still have a rough schedule, and there is no guarantee of how many games they will win. Looking at how the NFL panned out, even playing as they did in the first five weeks, they could still win against the Colts, Falcons, Panthers, and Raiders. None of those teams have had a decent 2022 so far.
Other Steelers problems never went away with the victory
Regardless of the outcome of the Steelers game against the Buccaneers, Pittsburgh’s core problems have not gone away. It’s not like the Steelers assistant coaching has gotten any better. Matt Canada still never called a great offensive game. Perhaps Trubisky failed to execute in the 2nd half. It was never even crisp with Pickett’s execution. Until the Steelers fix the Matt Canada situation, the Steelers offense does not improve much, even if Pickett catches fire for the Steelers when he returns.
The Steelers win one game; big deal. This is not the arcade game NBA Jam. Mike Tomlin is not on fire all of a sudden. The Steelers are not close to having a winning season with eleven games left it’s still difficult, at best, to predict how many he wins.
Mike Tomlin, if anything else, needs to go out in the off-season and find some quality assistant coaches. Tomlin must give up the dual role as head coach and defensive coordinator. The Steelers need someone independent of Tomlin to fill that role. If he surrounds himself with quality coaching, the SteelerSet featured images will get better.
Even then, he and Omar Kahn must do much better in the 2023 draft to fill needs with quality players to put the Steelers back on a winning track to have winning seasons and make title runs. Something which will still not happen, at least until 2023, assuming the Steelers commit to making the changes needed to win titles in future seasons.