The Pittsburgh Steelers sit at 8-6 with two games left to play in the 2019 season. That’s not at all where they want to be, especially given that they were just 8-5. Their frustrating loss to the Buffalo Bills last night snapped a three-game winning streak, and a 7-1 record in the past eight games. They are fortunate, at least, for a Tennessee Titans loss, which keeps them ahead for the sixth seed, but they understand that time is growing short, and the only thing they can do is move on.
“We’ll learn from this and move forward and get singularly focused on our next opportunity”, head coach Mike Tomlin said during his post-game press conference as he addressed the media. “This one’s gone. We lived it”.
“There’s scarcity in this business”, he added. “You only get so many opportunities to state a case for yourself. There are no seven-game series and things of that nature, so we respect was transpired tonight. We understand it. There’s nothing we can do about it as we sit here but get focused on our next opportunity. We will do that. I promise you that”.
The Steelers dug themselves a deep hole to start the season with three straight losses, albeit through a gauntlet against some of the best teams in the league versus the New England Patriots, the Seattle Seahawks, and the San Francisco 49ers. Two of the three were on the road, and Ben Roethlisberger was lost for the season in the middle of it.
The Steelers were never searching for excuses, however, let alone reasons to pack it in. during the same week in which the team learned that Roethlisberger’s season would be over, the made a trade with the Miami Dolphins for Minkah Fitzpatrick, who has been a consistently solid player for this defense, even if his splash has somewhat faded in recent weeks.
Pittsburgh only has two games left, however, to gain ground. The only thing that they control is winning. They have two games left to win, and if they do that, nothing that anybody else does will keep them out of the postseason. Drop one, however, and that most likely forces them to relinquish their power to control their own destiny unless it coincides with a concurrent failure by the Titans.
There are no do-overs. There’s no chance to make up a bad game against a team. They lost to the Bills, and lost the fifth seed in the process. They won’t be playing them again for ‘game two’ in a series, as Tomlin referenced. But what’s done is done. We’re on to New York.