There are teams who did not enter the postseason ‘hot’ and ended up winning it all. A number of people have recently pointed out that the 2009 New Orleans Saints lost three games after starting 11-0 and still came out with a Super Bowl. After last night’s game, Aditi Kinkabwala also pointed out that the New York Giants lost five out of six games in the last two months of the season before claiming a trophy in the middle of Winter.
In bringing up these teams, she was asking Cameron Heyward what has to happen in order for this Pittsburgh Steelers team, which is riding a three-game losing streak now after starting 11-0, to be one of those teams who can turn things around and come out of this promising season with some hardware.
“I’m a firm believer that things don’t change just by believing they will”, he said. “Our work has to reflect that, and we’ve got to solve that in practice. Whatever it takes. That’s not guaranteed. We’ve got to get to work, and we’ve got to solve this, and understand where we’re falling short. I know we’ve had some guys injured, but that’s not an excuse. The guys that go out and play have got to get the job done”.
Belief, of course, only gets you so far. Belief only gives you the confidence and the motivation to do what is necessary to achieve your goals. You also need ability and practice and work ethic to get to where you want to go.
And execution. And really, that’s where the Steelers have been falling short. Even with some notable injuries, especially Bud Dupree and Devin Bush, this is still a team with a lot of talent—they just had five players named to the Pro Bowl, as an example—and they are certainly capable of better than what they are currently giving.
The thing is, we have been hearing the same things for weeks now, frankly, before they even started losing. We have known for some time now that this is a team that was a lot closer to being on the cusp of losing than their record suggested.
This is a team with a lot of flaws, but there are no flawless teams—even the Kansas City Chiefs, but Patrick Mahomes does a good job of covering most of them up. This is still a good team with a lot of talent, but they’re not putting games together the way they need to right now. Whether or not they get things turned around, well, that remains to be seen.