‘A Lot Rides On This Month Of Football’: December Football Pivotal For Steelers, Pat Freiermuth Says

Sitting at 5-7 on the season and riding a current two-game winning streak as well as going 3-1 since the Week 9 bye week, the Pittsburgh Steelers are entering a pivotal stretch of football in December.

The Steelers will find themselves in matchups against the Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers and Las Vegas Raiders — on Christmas Eve for Franco Harris’ jersey retirement — in the month of December, with two of the three matchups at home inside Acrisure Stadium.

For second-year tight end Pat Freiermuth and the Steelers inside the locker room of the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, they are well aware of the stakes of December football this season as they continue to try and dig out of an early-season hole they created before the bye.

Still in the playoff mix in the AFC, the Steelers need to go 4-1 down the stretch to secure a winning record and have a shot at one of the final two Wild Card spots in the AFC playoff picture. Therefore, a lot rides on the stretch of December football.

“It kind of teaches you that if you lose a game early or a couple games early, it’s not the end-all, be-all,” Freiermuth stated to reporters Wednesday inside the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex’s locker room, according to video via the Tribune-Review’s Chris Adamski. “Obviously, that’s December football, as Coach T said yesterday. A lot rides on this month of football.

“That’s why I feel that we’ve prepared very well for this month of football, and I’m excited.”

December football is where the going gets tough, and in cliche form, the tough get going. It’s where the contenders truly separate from the pretenders, and where teams can get hot, go on a run and completely change the narrative of their season to that point.

That’s what the Steelers are aiming to do in December this season. Last year, the Steelers closed the season rather strong under head coach Mike Tomlin, going 4-2 down the stretch, though they were just 2-2 in December before going 2-0 in January to close the regular season.

Since Mike Tomlin’s infamous quote of “unleash hell” in December in 2009, the Steelers have been rather good in December football for the last 12 years. Doing so again this season will be a real catalyst for the black and gold as they look to get into the dance once again and try to shake things up.

It’s all about one week at a time though, starting with the Ravens on Sunday.

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