Can the Steelers salvage this season?
T.J. Watt's return should help a lot and the schedule gets a little less daunting in the second half of the season.
This is rather uncharted territory for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Even though playoff success has mostly dried up over the past decade, they have still maintained a consistently competitive and good football team that is always at least in the running for for the playoffs. If not actually making the playoffs.
Not only have they not had a losing season under head coach Mike Tomlin (I know hearing that is like finger nails on a chalkboard to so many of you), but they have not had a losing season since the 2003 season. That is nearly 20 years! Dating back to 1988 (a run of 34 years!) they have only had FOUR losing seasons, and never won less than six games during that stretch. Under Tomlin’s watch they have only played one game — ONE! — in 16 years where they did not have at least a mathematical chance of making the playoffs (that was Week 17 of the 2012 season). That sort of thing, that run of sustained success, is not supposed to happen in the NFL, a league that is designed to knock down the teams on top and easily build up the teams on the bottom.
They have had a couple of 2-6 starts in recent years, including the 2006 season under Bill Cowher and the 2013 season under Tomlin. In both cases the Steelers were able to turn things around in the second half and finish the season with 8-8 records.
Is there any chance they can experience a similar turnaround in the second half here?
In some ways it is very difficult to see that happening, especially given the state of the offense.
They have a rookie quarterback in Kenny Pickett that is struggling and going through a ton of growing pains, and an offensive line that can not pass protect and does not open holes in the running game. All of that is holding the entire thing back, along with an offensive philosophy that looks like it is better suited for a high school offense than an NFL team.
But is there anything that could swing the season back in a positive direction?
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