If there was one benefit to playing in Jacksonville all those years, Myles Jack knows how to handle losing. Not that he or anyone wants to lose or is content with losing. But a 1-3 start isn’t stopping Jack from having the belief the Steelers can turn things around. He spoke to reporters following today’s practice about the state of the Steelers’ locker room.
“I feel like the mentality is positive in here,” Jack said via Steelers.com. “Nobody’s pointing fingers or blaming. The building’s not on fire We’re still good. So we feel confident and as long as we all do what we supposed to do, we put together four strong quarters we’ll be fine.”
Jack’s Jaguars team went through a tough 2021 campaign under Urban Meyer, a season marred by controversy and scandal and many, many losses. After being released this offseason, he signed a two-year deal to come to Pittsburgh and has been a consistent cog in the middle of the Steelers’ defense, leading the team with 44 tackles. That’s twelve more than second place.
Pittsburgh will try to get their season back on track this weekend against a tough Buffalo Bills team. The Steelers enter this matchup as historic 14-point underdogs, the largest line ever against them. But this is the same Pittsburgh team that upset the Bills on the road last year. Winning will require taking care of the football, making a splash play on special teams, and eliminating any defensive breakdowns.
While the Steelers’ offense has publicly shown its frustration with their performance, the defense has held together. Still, it’s a unit that’s underwhelmed and gone into a shell without T.J. Watt, struggling to close out and finish games. Dropping to 1-4 would be a near-death sentence. Since the league moved to a 16-game season, team who start the year 1-4 have just a 6% chance of making the playoffs. Compare that to a 21.5% chance of appearing in the postseason for teams who are 2-3.
Jack may be right the building isn’t on fire. But it’s smoldering. And a loss to the Bills could be the spark to ignite the whole place.