Last week the Pittsburgh Steelers finally did what they had been seemingly unable to do; they went on the road and beat a team with a lesser record. While they’ve done this a couple of times this season in places like Tennessee and Jacksonville, the players knew how important a win in Atlanta was and for more than just getting another step closer to the playoffs.
The win over the Falcons provided a confidence boost that this team sorely needed. Although Mike Tomlin didn’t come out say that verbatim, his words on Tuesday about how he likes the way the young guys are handling things spoke volumes.
Sunday’s win in the Peach State was a positive step for a team blended with veterans and younger players. This week is a true litmus test for this team to see if they can live up to the hype and to the words of their head coach.
The Steelers have had tough games in recent years with the Kansas City Chiefs and I expect this one to be no different. The Steelers and Chiefs have not played since 2012 when the Steelers won 16-13 in Heinz Field in overtime (Ben Roethlisberger suffered that chest injury in this one). In fact, two of the last three times the Chiefs and Steelers have hooked up they’ve gone to overtime and the third game was a four-point margin.
The Steelers proved to themselves last week they can win when sometimes the fan base really doesn’t expect it based on previous, similar situations. Now the Steelers can remove even more demons with a win at home.
This would be a win over a team fighting for a playoff spot and a win at home where the last time the home folks saw them they were getting torched by Drew Brees.
With all that, a win puts this team back into the playoffs for the first time since they were “Tebowed” in the AFC Wild-Card Game. A playoff appearance will not vanquish that particular horror but it would at least give some much needed credibility back to the franchise and to Mike Tomlin.
The Steelers took a nice step forward last week but in the grand scheme of things it won’t mean much if they can’t take care of business at home on Sunday.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteelDad and the website @SCBlitz. Check us out on Facebook at facebook.com/steelcityblitz and on Fancred.com. You can hear him weekly during the season on game day on the Trib-Live Radio Steelers Pre-Game