The Steelers were 7-4 on Sunday morning. They had two home games just four days apart against teams that entered the competition with identical records of 2–10.
And the Steelers lost both games.
As reported on the Amazon postgame show, the Steelers became the first team in league history with a record above .500 to lose consecutive games to teams below .500 by at least eight games. While opportunities for such a feat undoubtedly don’t come along very often, the Steelers found a way to accomplish it.
Making the history-making defeat even more baffling is the fact that both events occurred in Pittsburgh.
The full impact will not be known until the next four games are played. Maybe they can turn it around and even make the postseason. Or maybe they had a mental breakdown after hitting a clear shot to go 9-4. Instead, they’re 7-6, their starting quarterback is still injured, and they find themselves in a group of teams competing for three wild-card spots in the wide-open AFC.
They face the Colts, Bengals, Seahawks and Ravens to finish out the season. They have proven under longtime coach Mike Tomlin that they have the ability to find a way to fight through any and all adversity and emerge with at least a winning record. Maybe they’ll do it again, winning two of the last four. Maybe 9-8 will be enough to make the playoffs.
Or perhaps the events of Sunday and Thursday are proof that the magic is gone and they won’t get it back until next month. They have a few extra days to prepare for the trip to Indy. The Colts, along with every other team facing the Steelers, will be playing for something – unless the Ravens somehow lock up the No. 1 seed by Week 17 and bench their starters for the finals , as they did in 2019.
Despite this, the teams’ consecutive home losses amid losing seasons do not give reason for unbridled optimism in Pittsburgh. It’s going to be a grind. This fight is going to happen. And, if the last two games are anything to go by, this one is probably going to be an ugly, smelly mess.