The Steelers are off to their worst start under Mike Tomlin, but the Pittsburgh head coach could still salvage his record by the end of the 2022 season.
When a franchise is consistently successful, the woes that come with defeat are non-existent for its fan base. The community thrives on the winning energy – creating special experiences for everyone involved. Mike Tomlin’s trends have created a new era for Steelers fans accustomed to winning. A losing season does not exist for Tomlin or his supporters, which makes this year’s struggles a hard pill to swallow.
Steelers QB is about core team issues, but are they the only problem?
It’s been nineteen years since the Steelers finished with a losing record. Winning lore introduced his fanbase to the luxuries that dominate franchise development – like unshakeable confidence. A 2-6 start makes it difficult to build confidence in the locker room. Tomlin’s team is the second-worst team in the AFC conference – similar to their season results from nearly twenty years ago.
In 2003, the Steelers finished the regular season with a 6-10 record – finishing 3rd in the AFC North. Tommy Maddox started at quarterback – finishing the season with 18 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. Talented players surrounded the No. 8, but the Steelers still struggled on the gridiron. Jerome Bettis, Hines Ward and Plaxico Burress carried the attack – but three-man efforts weren’t enough.
At the end of the season, Pittsburgh visited the drawing board. After a few tweaks and a first-round pick, Bill Cowher’s team got better. Ben Roethlisberger led the Steelers to two Superbowls – cementing Cowher’s Hall of Fame legacy.
Could the Steelers finish with a winning record and maintain Tomlin’s winning streak?
Mike Tomlin finds himself in a similar situation at the start of Week 8. The offensive problems on the field are upsetting but seem to be part of the process. The Pittsburgh front office invested in a quarterback in the previous draft, but was that the only glaring concern?
A set of skill position players make Pittsburgh an ideal candidate for Kenny Picket to thrive as an elite passer. George Pickens, Najee Harris and Diontae Johnson are strong assets on the pitch. Pat Friermuth is also a reliable target – showing glimpses of a big career in his early seasons.
With so many weapons available, how do the Steelers continue to struggle?
Concerns about the game call for conversion among analysts when discussing the Steelers’ offensive woes. Finding rhythm on offense will solve one problem for Pittsburgh, but new problems crop up every week — an interesting part of pro football. Tomlin continues to address one issue at a time. His behavior remains stern and his track record shows results.
@steelers there are 4 division games left. Two games against the Ravens, one against the Browns and the Bengals. Their divisional record is key (1-1).
50% of the conference has 4 or more losses. Seven teams have won more than 50% of their conference games…
Wild Card Prediction? pic.twitter.com/08gG6kExqu
— Loyal Ricks Jr. (@LoyalJRicksJr) November 1, 2022
Avoiding a losing season will take focus. Incoming opponents are beatable – combining for a 30-38 record. Developing a rookie quarterback takes patience, and the Steelers expect Picket to be a star. It would be nice to see the No. 8 compete well enough to lead Pittsburgh to the playoffs — and it’s not too late. Division games will play a role in the second half of the season.
Mike Tomlin’s record comes second to ensure Picket is ready for his second season. If the Steelers have found a rare pearl, both goals are still achievable.