At this point, basically nobody that isn’t directly a part of the Pittsburgh Steelers organization is confident in the team right now, this in spite of the fact that there is literally only one team in the entirety of the NFL that has a better record than they do at 11-3 with two games left to play.
Of course, that can happen when you got 11-0 and then lose three games in a row, two of them being to teams that have a sub-.500 record in the Washington Football Team and a Cincinnati Bengals team starting its third-string quarterback.
Count former Steelers Hall of Fame cornerback Rod Woodson as being among those who are concerned about the current state of the team. “You’re definitely concerned. Three in a row? You play the first half of the season and get yourself ready for the second half of the season”, he said yesterday.
“In December, losing three straight games is concerning. And the way they’re losing is concerning”, he went on. “No running game. They’ve still got the little quick short passing game, but any time you’re one-dimensional…everyone has kind of caught up to that, and if they don’t get a running game, or a semblance to the running game, it’s gonna hurt them”.
After rushing for over 100 yards in each of the first five games of the season, they have only rushed for at least 100 yards once since then, over the span of the past nine games, and the last time that they achieved even that was five games ago.
“Obviously they’re already in the postseason, but if you can’t get on a winning streak going into the playoffs, your mindset as a team, somewhere along the line, those guys that are on the borderline, they’re gonna start questioning, should they belong?”, Woodson suggested. “Mike Tomlin’s a great coach, I know they’ll get them back in order, but they’ve got to find a way to get a running game, or it’s gonna be a short playoff career for them this year”.
Those are not very encouraging words from an all-time great player, but luckily for the Steelers, he is not an all-time great analyst or coach. Pittsburgh certainly has the talent to actually win these next two games, and some games in the postseason as well. Whether or not they actually do is, of course, another question, but it is within their capacity to do so. If Ben Roethlisberger plays the way he’s supposed to.