The Pittsburgh Steelers are in a bad place. Losers of three straight, and the New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints on deck — things look bleak. However, while many in the fan base have declared the team dead, Ben Roethlisberger disagrees, citing no panic in the team’s locker room.
When asked if there was any panic in the room, or if they knew what was at stake, Roethlisberger’s response was clear and concise:
“I think that is a better way to put it, what’s at stake, not panic. We still control our destiny but it’s not going to get any easier.”
This was followed up by a question regarding how the team’s sense of urgency hasn’t equated to more wins over the past four games.
“Well we’ve had opportunities. We’ve just for whatever reason haven’t found a way to do it. I don’t think it’s from a lack of sense of urgency. I just think it could be a lack of execution, one thing here or there, so we understand what it takes to get it done and we just have to do it.”
So, there isn’t any panic, but does the team lack confidence? Not according to Roethlisberger, and this despite their backs being against the wall and the odds of making the playoffs now turned against them.
“I don’t think confidence, there isn’t a loss in it an understanding of what we need to do, face adversity in the face and just kind of getting ready for maybe one of the biggest challenges we had all year.”
Truly, the Patriots game in Week 15 will be the stiffest challenge for the Steelers to date, and fans don’t have to try hard to remember all of the lost games to New England, especially those which occurred at Heinz Field.
Is this the year the Steelers, and Roethlisberger, slay their proverbial dragon in Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots? It might not seem like it, but for those fans who are looking for something positive in the coming days, these stats are certainly worth noting:
Before you blame me for your depression, #Steelers fans, here's a hopeful stat!— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) December 12, 2018
Antonio Brown had a head-scratchingly low 35 receiving yards last week. But in the last eight games following a game w/ <50 receiving yards, Brown has averaged 9.4 catches and 147.9 receiving yards.
Could the Miami Miracle lead to a hangover? Since 2000, teams that lost on a walk-off, final-play-of-regulation touchdown are 6-12 the following week. And when those teams have to "rebound" on the road? They're 1-10.#Patriots #Steelers— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) December 12, 2018
Maybe it will take a no-one-expected-it-to-happen type of game for the Steelers to finally beat New England. A game where they don’t feel the usual pressure associated with the game, but go out and play as if they are playing with ‘house money’.
Fans better hope they do, or else there is a good chance they will be on the outside looking in at the AFC Playoff Picture as they prepare for the Saints in Week 16.
To see Roethlisberger’s media session in its entirety, see the player below: