Even Mike Tomlin’s 8-8 Pittsburgh Steelers team of 2013 didn’t take seven games to get their first back-to-back wins on the season. It took six games, to be fair. The last time it took seven games was in 2014, when they alternated wins and losses before going on a run that gave them their first division title since 2010.
The 2019 edition of the Steelers also just took seven games to get its first set of wins in back-to-back performances, but this one has a losing record after beginning the season with a three-game losing streak. Though they are now 3-1 in their past four games, they remain 3-4 on the season and two games behind in the division. But for now, they just want to appreciate the moment, and what it could build to.
“More than anything, aside from all the things I mentioned, it’s just good to stack wins, and stack wins for the first time on the season”, head coach Mike Tomlin said in his opening remarks during his pre-game press conference yesterday afternoon.
“Football’s our game, our business is winning. We’ve got to do so on a consistent basis, and to be able to do it for the first time, hopefully, is a catalyst for us moving forward, a springboard for us”, he went on. “We’re excited about this week. We’ve got an opportunity to play at home again against an AFC foe in the Colts, but also, we’ve got an opportunity to move to .500 at the turn”.
Beat the Indianapolis Colts, and you’re suddenly back at neutral. 4-4. If you told me the Steelers would be 4-4 halfway through the season back in August, I would be rather disappointed, but now, on the eve of November, I would be thrilled.
“To be able to say that from where we’ve come from over the course of this journey I think is significant”, Tomlin said. “By no means are we throwing a pep rally, but we’re in the midst of a fight, and one that we’re moving in the right direction, so it makes this week a really big one”.
It’s especially important because of whom the Baltimore Ravens are facing. The New England Patriots figure to be the toughest assignment on Baltimore’s schedule all year, and they have only lost two games so far, so every opportunity to see them notch a mark in the loss column is crucial.
If they can etch a win over the Colts and match that with a Ravens loss, they will suddenly be just one game back and very much in the thick of the divisional race—even in position to control their own destiny, which would require them of course beating Baltimore in the finale, and preserving a superior divisional record.