A lot of members of the Pittsburgh Steelers are certainly excited about being 7-0 on the season. Rookie Chase Claypool went a bit viral again yesterday when he Tweeted a joke, writing, “losing? Never heard of her”. Eric Ebron photobombed Ben Roethlisberger’s post-game interview to scream into the camera that they are 7-0.
Head coach Mike Tomlin has been rather non-plussed about it, and it’s not because he’s been here before. Only one man in team history, Chuck Noll, has ever been here before. Bill Cowher never even got to 4-0 to start a season in his entire career.
Part of it is because of the obvious fact that there is still so much more to go. Even if some of the hardest games of the season—away against the Tennessee Titans and the Baltimore Ravens—are now in the rearview mirror, they still have more than half a season to play, and against four more winning teams.
It’s also because they feel they could have done better, and won more decisively. The last two games have been nailbiters decided in the waning moments, the Titans falling on a missed field goal, the Ravens with time expiring on a heave into the end zone.
“You know, I think we are going to continue to write that”, Tomlin said after yesterday’s game when asked about what the team’s resilience in the win means for them. “It’s good today, but it means nothing for tomorrow. The total mentality of it is, regardless of these experiences, we have to continue to be a group that is on the rise, and understand that the bigger challenges and the bigger opportunities are in front of us”.
For as nice as it is that the Steelers now have a two-game lead in the AFC North, we should all know that that is far from insurmountable, especially when that team is the Ravens. This is a group that could absolutely run the table over the final nine games. They went on a 12-game winning streak entering the postseason as the top seed just last year.
And the Kansas City Chiefs are 6-1, with only a loss to the Las Vegas Raiders to blemish their resume, while the Bengals did the Steelers a bit of a favor by knocking off the Tennessee Titans and hand them their second straight loss, leaving them at 5-2 on the year.
Resilience is a great thing to have. It’s better not to need it. And the reality is that no matter how resilient you are, you are not going to be able to come back from every hurdle. There is only one perfect season in NFL history, and I don’t expect this one to be the second.