The Steelers' 30-13 loss to the Colts on Saturday essentially ended their season and playoff hopes. Unfortunately, they fell short in a game where the loser faced playoff elimination. Despite being up 13-0, the Steelers surrendered 30 unanswered points to the Colts, sealing a three-game losing streak.
This collapse follows a once-promising outlook just four weeks ago, embodying historic lows in Pittsburgh. Alex Kozora's tweet encapsulates the struggles of this Steelers team and Mike Tomlin's past six seasons.
Taking a promising 13-0 lead, the Steelers initially seemed on track for a crucial win. However, the Colts quickly closed the gap to 13-7. A pivotal moment occurred with a Mitch Trubisky interception, swinging momentum in favor of Indianapolis.
Despite a strong goal-line stand, the Steelers failed to capitalize in the two-minute drill, allowing the Colts to score in 27 seconds and take a 14-13 lead into halftime. This shift proved decisive, as the Colts maintained control for the remainder of the game.
Mitch Trubisky and the offense struggle again
Offensively, it was the same song and dance from Mitch Trubisky that we've seen two weeks in a row now. Untimely turnovers, missing wide-open throws, and an inability to make crucial plays plagued him. His aggressiveness and turnover-worthy plays led to his benching for Mason Rudolph at the end of the game.
It wasn't just the QB play; multiple factors, including bad play calling, subpar QB and offensive line performance, and a lack of effort from the wide receiver group, were evident once again. As we reach Week 15 of the NFL season, this offense still lacks identity and shows no signs of consistency.
This lack of offensive growth has been one of the largest reasons why this team has struggled mightily in the past couple of weeks. It's a complete disaster that hasn't improved from Week 1 to now.
Steelers defense crumbles under pressure
The Steelers' defense was thoroughly disappointing against the Colts. Despite facing a Colts team with a backup QB and key injuries, the Pittsburgh defense struggled, conceding both in the run and pass game.
Surrendering 30 points to an injury-riddled offense was inexcusable. This trend has persisted for the NFL's highest-paid defense, as highlighted by Jim Madalinsky's tweet, exposing the team's embarrassing defensive performances over the last 5 weeks.
The past two years have shown that when the defense isn’t playing to their standard, the game is essentially over. With a lack of offensive support, it's worth mentioning that an NFL defense will struggle from time to time. However, the Steelers, who've invested a lot of resources and money to rely on this side of the ball, have quite underachieved.
This tweet by Jarret Bailey shows how small of a margin this unit has to perform at to come away with wins. At the end of the day, a team built around the defense needs to consistently step up and capitalize on opportunities, particularly against less talented offenses.
A Steelers' team that quit
Overall, Saturday's game was a cherry on top of a disaster and a complete meltdown of a season. We witnessed a team at rock bottom; when facing adversity down by 11 points, instead of fighting to keep their season alive, they quit. Mike Tomlin's decision to punt late in the third quarter, down by 11, rather than taking a field goal to bring it to a one-score game, showed that coaches and players alike waved the white flag.
It's apparent they've given up. Immediate changes are needed in player personnel and coaching staff. This isn't the product the Pittsburgh Steelers should be putting out. It's frustrating that it had to come to this for ownership to finally see the glaring issues. It's now far too late to clean up this mess, and to revive the now-dead "Steelers way". It's time for some to wake up and make the necessary changes once and for all.