Steelers Colts

Steelers Drop Third in a Row After Loss to Colts

‍The Pittsburgh Steelers, a team once celebrated for decades long tradition of winning, currently find themselves at a crossroad in their franchise’s history. The Steelers have suffered three consecutive losses, with the wheels falling off against the Indianapolis Colts. This recent performance has divided a furious fanbase on how the Steelers will finish this season and also how they proceed forward, specifically with Head Coach Mike Tomlin.

Despite a promising start to the season with a 7-4 record, the Steelers find themselves in a downward spiral. Blowout losses to the Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots, both teams with poor season records, exposed the glaring flaws the Steelers are currently facing. This was doubled after their loss to the Colts.

The team’s inability to capitalize on these games and turn their losses into a response has been a talking point in regards to the team’s character and Mike Tomlin’s ability to coach.

A Tortured Filled Saturday

The game against the Colts started promisingly enough for the Steelers. They managed to secure an early 13-0 lead, a perfect start when you are a struggling team on the road. However, the Colts’ strong comeback and methodical dominance during the second half of the game sucked the life right out of Steelers fans. 

Colts’ quarterback Gardner Minshew expertly exploited the Steelers’ defense, racking up 215 yards with three touchdowns. Simultaneously, Colts’ running back Trey Sermon, alongside D.J. Montgomery, Mo Alie-Cox, and Zack Moss, all contributed to the Colts’ impressive performance. It almost makes you wonder how successful Minshew would serve as a bridge quarterback if the Steelers were to seek help in the offseason. Minshew has really proved his value stepping up for the Colts when it was not a part of their plan. 

The Struggling Steelers’ Offense

The combination of unqualified OC’s and bad offensive play were on display as the offense simply could not execute. Watching another game and witnessing the frustration grow amongst the offensive players was nothing short of irritating. The team managed a mere 216 yards on offense, with quarterback Mitch Trubisky contributing 169 yards from a 16-of-23 performance. Trubisky also scored a touchdown with two interceptions, with an additional touchdown on the ground. Yeah the two touchdowns sound good but these scoring drives were a result of Colts’ mistakes rather than the Steelers’ competence. 

I am unsure why Trubisky loves throwing off his back foot, George Pickens is going to lose his mind, and rightfully so. Not to excuse his poor effort on a multitude of plays but when he is thrown to, Mitch pegs the Colts safety. Mitch has been so bad it led to him being replaced by Mason Rudolph towards the end of the game. For my 26th birthday I got my own health insurance and for Christmas I might be getting a Mason Rudolph start. I don’t know what I did to deserve this.

The Questionable Decision-Making

When it rains it pours. In a game that unveiled some questionable play it also displayed some questionable decision making by Mike Tomlin. I may be a huge fan of Coach Tomlin, but in the fourth quarter, he chose to punt instead of attempting a field goal within Chris Boswell’s range. Guy is arguably the most consistent performer on the team and you don’t give him a chance? Especially when your punter is amongst the worst in the league. 

This decision was heavily criticized by fans on social media, who questioned Tomlin’s conservative play calling and expressed their dissatisfaction with the team’s performance. Yes, I agree the decision was wrong but I also had no faith in the defense regardless of the decision. 

Fans’ frustration with the team’s recent performance was evident on social media. Many fans expressed their disappointment with the team’s sense of urgency and called for significant changes, including some suggesting that Tomlin should be fired or traded, as he has one year remaining on his deal. 

Despite the recent criticisms, it’s crucial to remember Tomlin’s impressive track record with the Steelers. He has been the head coach since 2007, leading the team to two Super Bowl appearances, with one victory. He has a 170-99-2 overall record and has never had a losing season with the team. However, this record is now under threat, with the Steelers in danger of ending the current season below .500.

Tomlin’s postgame press conference following the loss to the Colts was blunt. He admitted to the team’s fundamental flaws and accepted responsibility for the team’s current state. He acknowledged the team’s recurring issues, including turnovers, penalties, and poor situational play.

However, Tomlin also expressed his commitment to finding solutions to the team’s problems. Although he admitted to not having immediate answers, he assured that changes would be made to prevent the continuation of the current pattern.

The Current State of the Steelers

The Steelers’ performance in the game against the Colts effectively summarized their season. The team managed to build an early lead, only to let it slip away as the game progressed. Both the offense and defense struggled, with the team committing numerous errors and penalties, racking up eight penalties for 101 yards.

Trubisky’s performance was particularly disappointing, with two interceptions and a fumble. Now we have to see if he will be replaced by third-string quarterback Mason Rudolph while the return of Kenny Pickett approaches. Not that it helps, but at least he didn’t turn the ball over.

EDIT: Mason Rudolph is now the starter vs the Bengals, per Mike Tomlin.

The Defensive Struggles

When Minkah Fitzpatrick went down, that was the final K.O in any hopes of the Steelers winning in my opinion. The defense is injury riddled and it didn’t serve any good when Damontae Kazee was ejected for almost decapitating Michael Pittman Jr. Losing two starting MLBs to season-ending injuries and watching Mark Robinson trying to cover Mo-Alie Cox was daunting. 

Despite the Colts playing without some key players, the Steelers were unable to prevent the Colts from racking up 372 yards of offense. I suppose there is no right play to call on defense when your secondary can’t cover anyone and your defensive line is getting blown off the line of scrimmage.

With the recent losses, the Steelers’ fans anger levels are growing while playoff chances are becoming increasingly slim. The team’s performance has raised serious feelings of hopelessness with no sense of direction. However, with the season not yet over, there is still a chance for the Steelers to turn things around and we could all be singing a different tune. 

Only time will tell if the Steelers can overcome their current struggles and return to their former glory. All indicators suggest that this is unlikely. One thing is certain, though – the team’s performance over the final games of the seasons will be crucial not only for the AFC Playoff picture but the future of the Pittsburgh Steelers franchise as we know it. 


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