The Pittsburgh Steelers’ hopes of getting the season back on track after winning their first game off their bye week last week against the Saints hit a bump in the road after losing to the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday 37-30. The offense put up 30 points for the first time all season, but still dealt with major inefficiencies in the second half which led to more possessions for the Bengals offense. The defense didn’t hold up their end of things well either as they surrendered 355 yards and four TDs to QB Joe Burrow and the Bengals’ passing attack.
DL Cam Heyward expressed his displeasure with the team’s inability to close out games, having the opportunity to get back on track by sweeping the Bengals, but instead blew yet another game they were in till the very end.
“Very frustrating,” Heyward said to the media on video from 93.7 The Fan’s Josh Rowntree’s Twitter page. “We gave away a key opportunity. We talk about climbing out of a hole, but we just keep digging ourselves more and more further down.”
While a win would have put the Steelers at just 4-6 on the season, it would have knocked the Bengals to 5-5 and put Pittsburgh back into position to battle for a potential Wildcard spot. Now sitting at 3-7, it looks highly unlikely that the Steelers will be able to turn thing around and contend for a playoff berth this season.
The situation was bleak before heading into this game as Pittsburgh went 2-6 to start the season before their bye week. However, they were able to pick up a much-needed win at home last weekend against the Saints, keeping their faint playoff hopes alive. The defense looked rejuvenated with T.J. Watt and Damontae Kazee back in the lineup along with the running game erupting to the tune of 217 rushing yards.
However, both the offense and defense weren’t consistent enough to pull out the win against the arch-rival Cincinnati Bengals as the offense struggled to establish any ball movement in the second half and the defense could get Cincinnati off the field.
In what appears to be a lost season for the Steelers, Heyward isn’t afraid to let his frustrations be known. This is a team that has mentioned the need to execute better, use better communication, and play a full 60 minutes. That hasn’t happened yet this season, explaining the predicament that Pittsburgh is in at the moment.
For the team’s sense of pride and getting things going in the right direction for next season, you would like to see some semblance of better execution and consistent play occur by this team down the stretch to finish the season on a high note. However, that will be up to the players and coaching staff getting to the root of this disconnect and fixing the issues that have plagued this team all season.