It’s great whenever you have the opportunity to hold a 11-2 record. That is a fantastic winning percentage, and if you ask just about any team at the start of any given year whether or not they would take that record through 13 games, they would fall over themselves jumping at the opportunity to claim it as theirs.
There might be a smidge more hesitance if you tell them that the 11 wins come first, followed by the two losses, especially when factoring in how the Pittsburgh Steelers have set about acquiring it. They realize as well as anybody that they are not playing in a manner that will lend itself to postseason success. But they also know they have time.
“There’s a lot of outside noise and deservedly so”, Ben Roethlisberger told reporters on Wednesday. “We haven’t played well. We’ve lost two in a row. The fans are getting anxious. The talking heads are doing what they are supposed to do and talking bad about us and all that stuff. We’ve heard it and deserved it recently”.
A lot of people have abandoned ship over the course of the past couple of weeks. But that’s not the Steelers’ concern. Their priority is simply getting better over the course of the next several games leading into the postseason.
”It’s not the end of the world. We have three games left in the regular season. We have guaranteed ourselves a chance at the playoffs”, Roethlisberger said about his message to his teammates. “We’re in the postseason. We have three weeks now to get it going, to turn it around, to give ourselves the best chance to reach our ultimate goal, which is winning the Super Bowl”.
“If we were starting the postseason tomorrow, maybe there would be a little bit more panic on our part, like we have to get something figured out right now”, he added. “We need to get it figured out now, but the good thing is, we know we have games after these next three”
He added that the next few games, which include two division rivals and another team that is likely to be in the postseason as well, serve as a good test to see where they are as they head into the playoffs. They know that they have to get better, but they also know that they have the opportunity, and the ability, to do so.
As much as many seem ready and willing to forget, that 11-0 team was pretty good. By and large, this is still the same team. Lulls will happen from time to time, and not many teams go through a regular season losing only one or two games.