The Steelers are at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, informally known as the South Side facility, now into the regular season. It’s where they otherwise train all year round, and the facility that Burt Lauten insists everybody refers to by its full name.
There are still unsettled questions that need answering, even deep into the regular season. They entered the process with questions in the starting lineup, in scheme, and elsewhere, but new problems always arise that need to be resolved.
Even questions about who’s starting and when may not have satisfactory answers in their finality, as midseason changes are certainly quite possible, for some positions more than others. We’re also feeling out how the new coordinator posts—or posts in new contexts—end up playing out.
There’s never any shortage of questions when it comes to football, and we’ll be discussing them here on a daily basis for the community to “talk amongst yourselves”, as Linda Richman might say on Coffee Talk.
Question: Is there any hope of an upset today against the Philadelphia Eagles?
If the Steelers are going to make any kind of move this year, it needs to start happening now. Going into the bye week at 2-6 would be a back-breaker, even if it doesn’t feel like such a substantial difference from 3-5.
When you’re this low, however, every win counts. And the team knows that the schedule eases up on the other side of the bye, at least outside of the division. While they still have to play the Baltimore Ravens twice, the Cincinnati Bengals again, and the Cleveland Browns after getting Deshaun Watson, they have winnable games.
Their first game on the other side of the bye is against the New Orleans Saints. They also have the Atlanta Falcons, the Las Vegas Raiders, the Carolina Panthers, and the Indianapolis Colts, and it is conceivable that they could win every one of those games. If they can split their division games, they could go 7-2 on the back half.
A win against the Eagles could put them in position to go 10-7, which last year at least would have been good enough to get them into the playoffs (in fact, they made it with a 9-7-1 record). But can they really beat the undefeated Eagles?
I don’t think there is going to be a lot of money put on the Steelers achieving such a feat, but they have been approaching some form of competence for weeks now. What they need to do is minimize the negativity, on both sides of the ball. And T.J. Watt would certainly help matters, as well.