The Steelers are going to make everybody mad
They are going to win too many games for some, but not enough games for others.
Going into Sunday’s game in Atlanta I made the prediction that if the Pittsburgh Steelers win that game, they are going to end up winning eight or nine games this season. That is going to be a result that is simply going to infuriate everybody.
If they manage to pull that off, it is almost certainly not going to be good enough to make the playoffs. Maybe nine wins could? Maybe? But probably not. There is virtually no chance that eight wins would be enough.
That result would do nothing but make us look back at the closes losses to New England, New York, Cleveland, and maybe even Miami and scream “YOU WERE SO CLOSE!!”
So close, but so far.
It would also anger the people that knew the playoffs were not really an option this season, and even if they were, the Steelers would simply not have the talent to stack up with Kansas City or Buffalo in the AFC, so what would even be the point? These folks, when the Steelers were 2-6, would have preferred the team just tank the season and maximize their draft pick status.
Going 8-9 or 9-8 and picking 17th or 18th in the draft might land you a good player, but it will not land you one of the elite prospects.
But this seems to be a very realistic direction for where this season is going.
While it may not be pretty, the Steelers are showing some improvement. After Sunday’s 19-16 win over the Atlanta Falcons they have won consecutive games for the first time all season, have won three out of four games overall, are 4-1 with T.J. Watt in the lineup, and still play a VERY favorable schedule the rest of the way.
They have two games against the Baltimore Ravens, including this Sunday’s game at Acrisure Stadium, and might get to play backup quarterback Tyler Huntley in at least one of those games. The Ravens have been struggling the past few weeks, the Steelers tend to play them well (even when Lamar Jackson plays), and they might be playing against a backup quarterback. That is a winnable game. Not a guaranteed win. Not a “should” win. But absolutely a “could” win game.
Outside of the two Baltimore games, they also play at a lousy Carolina team, get a bad Las Vegas team at home, and a bad Cleveland team at home. Is it really a stretch to think they could go 3-2, or maybe even 4-1, in those games? I do not think that is a stretch. Not at all. Especially with the fact they are, again, showing some improvement.
We should talk about some of that improvement.
The offense is so close, but still so frustrating
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