We’ve seen this before.
Much like you’ve seen a horror movie where the kids think they’ve done away with the killer time and time again, yet he still comes back to haunt them.
This is not just your Pittsburgh Steelers of 2014, this is your Steelers of the Mike Tomlin era. How many times do we have to re-live this? In this scenario, the Steelers roar past teams with equal or even better talent than they possess and get the fan base all fired up with thoughts of deep playoff runs.
That’s when the killer shows up again to dash all of our hopes and feelings of goodwill. After beating teams of equal competition, the Steelers then lose to teams whose record indicates that they stink and in most cases they do. We’ve seen this twice already in 2014 as the Steelers have dropped two of their four losses two teams who now have a combined three wins.
Last season’s 8-8 season was marred by losses to the Oakland Raiders, Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans. In the 2012 season we saw more losses to lesser opponents and go back to 2009 when the Steelers sat at 6-2 and atop the AFC North. They had just dismissed some good teams and were heading into a stretch that featured five very winnable games.
They went on to lose all five of those games and they finished 9-7 and out of the playoffs. Those were veteran teams too so don’t give me this argument that the team was young or inexperienced.
The common denominator in all of this is Mike Tomlin. I find it increasingly more difficult to defend Tomlin as these types of losses grow in number.
Today was a total team failure in all facets of the game. The offense reverted back to it’s “pre-Texans game” style while the defense had no answer for misdirection plays or the elusiveness of Michael Vick. Even the special teams failed again when Shuan Suisham missed a 23-yard field goal which would have pulled the team closer to the Jets.
Famed Pittsburgh writer Dejan Kovacevic asked Tomlin after the game about this pattern of losses to lesser opponents and Tomlin did a better dance step than the one he did in Baltimore last year. “We were in -4 in the turnover department. Check the history of the NFL and you won’t find many teams that win turning it over like that,” Tomlin said.
Tomlin totally avoided the question and disrespected Kovacevic in the process. He didn’t even come close to answering the question and he knew it.
The team now heads south to Tennessee where they have struggled. It’s again a very winnable game on paper and that’s fitting because watching this team is a horror show where everyone dies by a thousand paper cuts. Trust me; that’s a horror show we’ve all seen before.
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