Pittsburgh Steelers: Mike Tomlin’s Team Can Make a Playoff Run
Despite being 8-0, Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers are being written off. That should not be happening.
Yes, the Steelers have gotten lucky against the Tennessee Titans. And Pittsburgh barely beat the Baltimore Ravens and Dallas Cowboys.
However, the fact the Steelers can win despite not playing their best level of football is important to make note of.
It’s okay for an NFL team to win close games and win ugly.
A champion needs to overcome obstacles and win nailbiters. It only strengthens them and prepares them for games of that caliber in the future.
Here are a few reasons why Mike Tomlin and the Steelers could make a big playoff run.
It’s obvious, but T.J. Watt, Bud Dupree, and Cam Heyward have punished opposing quarterbacks consistently.
Minkah Fitzpatrick has started to heat up and is either taking the ball away or knocking it down to clinch victories.
Defensive end Stephon Tuitt is having, what some might say, is a career year.
Without inside linebacker Devin Bush, Robert Spillane has risen to the occasion and collected a pick-6 versus last season’s league MVP from Baltimore, Lamar Jackson.
The sacks and takeaways keep coming for Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh defense. There’s no reason to believe that will change anytime soon.
Keep Away and Big Plays
Ben Roethlisberger is spreading the football around to a variety of receivers, including rookie Chase Claypool and tight end Eric Ebron.
You just don’t know who will have a monster game each week for Mike Tomlin and Co., which I’m sure frustrates fantasy football fans to no end.
Big Ben has only four interceptions this season to go along with 18 touchdown passes.
Three of those interceptions came against the Titans in Week 7 and two of those were not on Ben.
Assuming Pittsburgh will make the playoffs, one could argue they have a stable formula no matter who they face.
Mike Tomlin may need to avoid getting too risky with his decision-making late in ball games, but all in all, there shouldn’t be many complaints about him this year.
It Feels Right
You can talk about New Orleans, Tampa Bay, or Kansas City, but it looks more and more like Mike Tomlin and Pittsburgh can generate plenty of postseason noise.
There’s no distractions and no Super Bowl chatter from the team. It helps that some folks are doubting the Steelers because then there’s no risk of the team getting caught up in the hype.
Mike Tomlin has his team ready to go each game and thus far they haven’t lost to a “lesser” opponent.
I have enjoyed the way they fight back in the second half. Pittsburgh is clearly a second-half team.
In the last two weeks, Pittsburgh’s defense held its opponent to just 13 points combined.
You have to appreciate the manner in which the Steelers respond to deficits and other challenges.
I’m not sure what to expect from the Steelers the remainder of this season, but it’s interesting how they’ve gotten this far without an L.
Will Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers earn the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC? Leave a comment below.
Rush the opposing QB at Heinz Field with IroniqMedia.
Follow Anthony on Twitter @MakinItBig1