The 2016 season is unfortunately over, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are now embarking upon their latest offseason journey, heading back to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, formerly known and still referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility of Heinz Field. While the postseason is now behind us, there is plenty left to discuss.
And there are plenty of questions left unanswered as well. The offseason is just really the beginning phase of the answer-seeking process, which is lasts all the way through the Super Bowl for teams fortunate enough to reach that far.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the offseason as they develop, and beyond, looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they try to navigate their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.
Question: How does last night’s defeat at the hands of the Patriots shape your view of the Steelers’ potential for the 2017 season?
There really is no sense in beating around the bush here. The Steelers had their butts handed to them last night by the Patriots, who were largely dominant both on offense and on defense. Tom Brady even managed to break some team record and tie Joe Montana in some statistic or another. That is not something that you want to have happen against you.
Last night’s loss was a spectacular failure, but it came against by far the best team in the league, and the only dynasty in the past 20 years. And it came on the book end of a fantastic nine-game winning streak, which is one of the longest such runs that the Steelers have ever had as a team in their history.
Pittsburgh truly went on a remarkable run in the second half of the season, and they were able to ride that momentum all the way into the AFC Championship game, territory that they have not been able to breach before now since the 2010 season.
I would like to think that even the most cynical fans would be able to agree that there is a great deal of good to take away from this season as it pertains to the potential of their future. We saw significant improvement from some key young players, to start off with, and they overcame quite a bit of adversity, self-inflicted or otherwise.
But it’s virtually impossible not to taste the bitterness of this loss, and that is going to inevitably have some level of impact on your view of this past season, and, at least for now, of their future. It’s part of human nature.
So how does last night’s loss shape how you view Pittsburgh’s potential going forward? It’s the Patriots hurdle simply one that is too step for them to ever climb from this point forward?