After shedding three straight video games, two of them towards 2-10 opponents, the Pittsburgh Steelers had been staring down the barrel of a season that didn’t finish with a playoff look. Whereas their probabilities of making the playoffs are nonetheless slim, the Steelers have gone from a workforce that misplaced religion in itself to a workforce that believes in itself once more after a 34-11 drubbing of the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 16, stated rookie nook Joey Porter Jr.
“Now we have misplaced a little bit of confidence in ourselves within the final three video games. After this match it has given us confidence once more that we will do that,” stated Porter said via Josh Rowntree of 93.7 The Fan.
It is onerous to not lose a specific amount of religion in a workforce whenever you’re crushed by two of the worst groups in soccer. That is what occurred to the Steelers, who misplaced in a blowout to the Arizona Cardinals earlier than falling 21-3 to the New England Patriots. The Steelers then constructed a 13–0 lead over the Indianapolis Colts in Week 15 and proceeded to permit 30 unanswered factors, shedding 30–13.
However led by QB Mason Rudolph, the Steelers rebounded and put collectively their most full sport of the season towards the Bengals, forcing three turnovers defensively and scoring their most factors in additional than a yr. It was additionally their most factors in a win of their final 56 video games.
That is the form of win that can provide a workforce some confidence again, and whereas the Steelers aren’t useless but, they should win their last two video games, on the street towards the Seahawks in Week 17 and in Baltimore towards the Ravens in Week 18, to achieve the play-offs. They must play with confidence to have an opportunity in these two video games, and given the best way each side of the ball are performing, that’s one thing that ought to occur.
The large query for the Steelers going ahead is whether or not they roll with Mason Rudolph beneath heart or return to QB Kenny Pickett, who practiced in a restricted capability this week and may be capable of return in Week 17. Pickett is coming off twine surgical procedure following an ankle sprain, and he’ll want to point out he has his full vary of movement and mobility again within the bag if he desires to start out, particularly with Rudolph coming off a formidable 290-yard efficiency with two touchdowns.
However the environment across the workforce and within the locker room is totally different as we speak than it was a number of days in the past, when the drama within the locker room was a extra vital dialogue than the play on the sphere. Whether or not they make the postseason or not, the Steelers must concentrate on ending the yr robust, enjoying with confidence and making an attempt to trip their momentum.