The Pittsburgh Steelers have had their highs and lows over the course of David DeCastro’s career. They missed the playoffs entirely in his first two seasons, which had been a rare sight. They had made it in four of the previous five years, and then in the next four in a row.
Following a late-season collapse and no help from the other teams contending for playoff positioning, however, Pittsburgh missed the show in 2018, despite the fact that they were poised, with six games remaining, to secure a bye week following a six-game winning streak. Now they are starting to face similar circumstances.
A year ago, the Steelers had two games remaining and were in a play-in position. They lost the first of the two games, then needed help plus a win in the finale. They got the win, but not the help. If they want to avoid needing that last-second help, they need to start by beating the New York Jets on Sunday.
“You never want to let it slip out of your grasp” DeCastro told Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in the locker room yesterday. “We worked hard to get into this position. Last night was tough, but things are still ahead of you, which is great. You have to look at the positives”.
Following last season’s six-game winning streak, the Steelers in 2019 won seven of eight games. They are in a much different position now, however. Then, they are 7-2-1 at their height. This year, they peaked at 8-5.
They finished 9-6-1 last year. They would have made it if they were 10-6. Would have won the AFC North. They need to be 10-6 this year once again, this time just to be the number six seed. The division is already decided, and they are no longer in the running for the fifth seed after losing to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
“You don’t want to compound a bad game with another bad game”, DeCastro added concerning the possibility of coming out flat following a disappointing primetime loss, only to take on a team many have a tendency to look down on. “Then, you’d really be mad at yourself”.
Aside from the loss to the Cleveland Browns that got their backup-starting quarterback benched, all of the Steelers’ losses this season have come against quality opponents, teams who are already locked into the postseason. They have generally beaten the teams that they ‘should beat’.
The Jets are a team that they should beat. But with the way they played at home against the Bills, it’s hard to be sure of a win on the road against anybody. Let’s not forget that even the Miami Dolphins gave them a scare.