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: What result would you consider a disappointing end to the 2019 season for the Steelers?
In the spirit of the ending of Game of Thrones last night, which many people found disappointing throughout the final season, I figured I would ask this question, and I do expect a variety of answers, even though I imagine the most popular would be ‘anything short of a Super Bowl win’.
It’s true that the Steelers ostensibly hold them to a ‘Super Bowl or bust’ standards, which means all but six years in their history have ended in failure, but realistically, you’re not going to compete every year, let alone win it.
And when you’re talking about disappointment, you’re also talking about expectations. I’m pretty confident there are a lot of people out there right now who don’t expect the Steelers to win the Super Bowl this year, so you might not necessarily consider it a disappointment if they don’t win.
In fact, the team is actually coming off a non-playoff season, their first since 2013, so perhaps expectations are even lower than usual. They went 13-3 in 2017 and lost their first playoff game, though they reached the conference finals the year before that.
Pittsburgh made upgrades on defense, but suffered a major downgrade on offense. It’s fair to say, however, that defensive failures were their primary undoing in 2018, as five of their seven non-winning results featured the defense giving up the winning points in the fourth quarter. The offense less multiple comeback drives, but the defense spoiled at least one or two of them that I can recall, and another attempt at a comeback that ended with a botched field goal.
So, to answer this question, figure out what your expectations are for the season first beforehand. That should help you figure out what you would consider a disappointment. Of course it’s always disappointing to not win it all, but relative to what they should be able to do, what would amount to underachieving?