The Pittsburgh Steelers are out of Latrobe and back at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, also referred to as the South Side Facility. We are already into the regular season, where everything is magnified and, you know, actually counts. The team is working through the highs and lows and dramas that go through a typical Steelers season.
How are the rookies performing? What about the players that the team signed in free agency? Who is missing time with injuries, and when are they going to be back? What are the coaches saying about what they are going to do this season that might be different from how it was a year ago?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: How much would the perception of the Steelers’ 2018 season to date be had Chris Boswell made the would-be game-winning field goal in the season opener?
As the Steelers head into their bye week, they do so with a record of 3-2-1. That is a winning percentage of something like .583. This time a year ago, they owned a 4-2 record after four games, a winning percentage of .667.
The most direct difference between last year’s record and this year’s is the fact that the Steelers tied in their season opener, a game that they won a year ago despite playing poorly. If not for a blocked punt that was recovered for a touchdown, they would have lost, and the Cleveland Browns would have actually had a winning record for once.
Pittsburgh had plenty of opportunities to win in the season opener this year that they squandered, long before the game even got into overtime. This is by no means a ‘blame everything on Chris Boswell’ post. It’s a discussion about perception.
The Steelers were 4-2 at this time last year despite not really playing very good football for the most part. The defense was a dam that was just getting ready to break, the offense was shaky. Boswell was actually the source of reliability. He scored 44 of their 128 points up to that point.
He had the opportunity in overtime to give the Steelers a win in the opener. He missed it, and they ended up tying. So they are, barring the butterfly effect, a missed field goal away from being in the same spot that they were a year ago, record-wise, when they went 13-3 and had a bye week in the postseason.