Leave it to a former undrafted free agent to be able to look on the bright side of a three-game losing streak for a team that at least still controls its own destiny in terms of making the playoffs. Pittsburgh Steelers guard Ramon Foster told reporters yesterday that “I think what’s happened in this three-game skid has actually been good for us”.
After losing or tying in three of their first four games of the regular season, getting out to a 1-2-1 record, the Steelers proceeded to rip off a string of six consecutive victories, which is the third season in a row in which they have recorded a winning streak of at least that many games.
But now they are building a losing streak that is already at three games and which will be seriously tested on Sunday against the New England Patriots. If they fail to snap the streak then, it doesn’t get any easier the following week when they travel to face the New Orleans Saints.
The angle that Foster is taking here is, of course, one of humility and perspective. He made reference to the 16-0 Patriots team of 2007 who ended up losing in the Super Bowl. Sometimes you need to be reminded how difficult things can be before you get to the most trying events in order to be properly prepared to face them.
The 10-year veteran said that the losing streak could be good “in a sense that it makes guys realize that, hell, we have to go to work. You almost have to get in training camp mode in a sense that this is what we need to fix. We have to concentrate on what we need moving forward”.
The Steelers have certainly left themselves with no margin for error. Any loss from this point one has the potential of ruining their season, not only in terms of winning the division but in making the postseason altogether. They have just a half-game lead over the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North, but there are three teams in the race for the sixth seed also just a half-game behind them.
“If we get that going, this is essentially the start of our playoffs”, Foster said. “You get a chance to play some good, quality teams that know us or at least have a really good team able to beat us and we have to be better than them in this next stretch of games we have”.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger referred to Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders as the start of their postseason, which they then proceeded to lose in a number of different ways. One of those ways was their failure to return Roethlisberger to the field after receiving medical clearance, but then again, they did that in the postseason before as well.