A Pittsburgh Steelers loss would spell doom on their 2022 season, but they should hold the upper hand against the New Orleans Saints this week.
This is truly a ‘do-or-die’ moment for the Pittsburgh Steelers. In 60 minutes of action this Sunday at Acrisure Stadium, they will either prove doubters wrong or confirm that they genuinely are one of the worst football teams in the NFL this year. One thing is for certain at this point though. This team doesn’t have any excuses left.
Mike Tomlin’s team holds a competitive advantage in this contest against the New Orleans Saints. On paper, his team is one of the healthier units in the NFL. The Steelers haven’t lost a single starter on offense for any notable length of time this year. Now Tomlin will be significantly aided by the return of T.J. Watt.
But Watt’s presence isn’t the only reason Pittsburgh has a leg up on the competition this week. The Steelers have had two full weeks to prepare to face the Saints on their own turf. Meanwhile, New Orleans is fresh off a disappointing loss on Monday Night Football. In addition, they had some key starters suffer injuries in their game that took place just days ago.
Steelers can rewrite the narrative or sink to the bottom
Right now, every NFL power ranking out there has the Pittsburgh Steelers as a bottom-tier team in the league. In order to change the narrative, it’s going to take a convincing win over a pedestrian opponent this week.
If Tomlin’s team doesn’t perform well against Andy Dalton and a banged-up cast on his own turf this week with much more time to prepare, Pittsburgh’s season will essentially be forfeited. However, if they can take control of this game from the start, perhaps this will be the wake-up call they need to kickstart their season. With a much softer schedule down the stretch, I wouldn’t rule out Pittsburgh having a late surge.
It’s worth noting that Tomlin is 11-4 all-time following a bye week, and his team has won five straight games following after having the week off. We will see if that’s enough to get the job done this week. If they can’t handle the 3-6 Saints with the advantages they currently hold, there’s no chance for them to become a relevant team in 2022.