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NFL Columnist Says Steelers Playoff Dreams, Winning Season Streak Over: ‘They Will Not Win Out’

“Turn out the lights, the party’s over, they say that all good things must end.”

That was Willie Nelson in 1967 in his hit “The Party’s Over” but for NFL.com columnist Adam Schein, that can be used to describe not only the 2022 season for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but also head coach Mike Tomlin’s famous non-losing seasons streak, which currently sits at 15 seasons.

Schein, who has been rather critical of the Steelers at times this season and in years past, stated Tuesday in his weekly column for NFL.com that the dream is dead for the Steelers when it comes to the 2022 season, a shot at the playoffs and even a winning record, lumping Pittsburgh in with the Las Vegas Raiders and Cleveland Browns on the year.

Harsh, but might be true for the Steelers and Tomlin.

Following a 16-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in a tough AFC North rivalry matchup Sunday at Acrisure Stadium, the Steelers fell to 5-8 on the season, all but officially eliminating them from playoff contention and putting Tomlin’s non-losing seasons streak in serious jeopardy.

To extend the non-losing seasons streak to 16 seasons, the Steelers would need to win out against the Carolina Panthers, Las Vegas Raiders, Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns in the next four weeks, with two road games and two home games in that span. Seems like a tall task overall, but it’s certainly doable.

Schein doesn’t think so though. 

“I know Pittsburgh lost starting quarterback Kenny Pickett to a head injury in the first quarter, but highly experienced backup Mitchell Trubisky should’ve been the best signal-caller on the field. Instead, he buried the Steelers with three interceptions,” Schein writes regarding the Steelers, the loss to the Ravens and the season being over. “Year 2 of the Matt Canada experience on offense is going worse than Year 1, with Pittsburgh currently ranking 27th in scoring and 26th in total yards. The play-calling leaves much to be desired, with the Steelers failing to exploit their best mismatch weapons. George Pickens was only targeted three times on Sunday. He recorded three catches for 78 yards. Can we feed the rookie standout a bit more, please?

“These Steelers are not going to win out, meaning Mike Tomlin will post his first losing season ever.”

If the offense — specifically Mitch Trubisky — were able to take better care of the football on Sunday, the Steelers are probably winners of four of their last five and rolling towards a playoff spot at 6-7 on the season with a relatively weak schedule in the final month of the season.

Instead, Trubisky threw three interceptions on the afternoon, and the Ravens blocked a Chris Boswell field goal, leading to the two-point loss for the black and gold on a day in which they were outmuscled by the Ravens in the second half. They let one slip away in a big way, and now it might cost Tomlin his non-losing seasons streak, much to the delight of many within the fanbase who are tired of hearing about it.

Chances are the Steelers don’t win out and record the first losing season under Tomlin in his 16th season. While it would be a tough pill to swallow to have a losing season, it could lead to greater things in the future with a young team that got its lumps in early. The last time the Steelers had a losing season, they came right back the next season and reached the AFC Championship Game with Bill Cowher at head coach and then-rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger under center.

Could that happen in 2023 with a second-year quarterback in Kenny Pickett under Tomlin? Stranger things have happened. Just don’t go writing the Steelers off just yet in the final few weeks of the 2022 season though.

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