Not in prime time at Heinz Field.
Not while wearing their Color Rush uniforms.
And certainly not with the No. 5 spot in the AFC Playoffs on the line.
Yet, here we are. After a 17-10 loss last Sunday, the Steelers remain in control of their own postseason destiny, but the path to the playoffs is anything but certain. With that said, the fan base is starting to see the writing on the wall as it pertains to the confidence they have in the team moving forward.
The latest FanPulse results certainly paint a pretty accurate photo of how fans truly feel:
When it comes to the data, the Steelers’ fan confidence peaked at 83% after the Steelers beat the Rams. This approval percentage was the highest the fan base has recorded since after Week 1 in the preseason; however, it plummeted to 38% after the Week 11 loss to the Browns. Following the Week 12 win over the Bengals, fan confidence rose to a 46% approval rating, and continued to sky rocket to 75% after their revenge win over Cleveland at Heinz Field.
You would think the win over the Cardinals would move the needle in the right direction, but you’d be wrong. In fact, the Steelers’ approval percentage stayed the same at 75%. After the Week 15 loss, confidence dipped to 56% heading into Week 16.
The confidence in this team has certainly waned, and I can’t say I disagree with this taking place. The one thing Devlin Hodges always did was protect the football and give the defense a shot to win the game. Throwing 4 interceptions clearly isn’t doing that, and suddenly many fans are starting to view Hodges the way they viewed Mason Rudolph before his benching.
If I am being completely honest and fair here, I would almost suggest this dip in confidence should read “How confident are you in the Steelers’ offense?” Because everyone should have a ridiculous amount of faith and confidence in the defense. But can the offense just not kill the team? Can they do just enough to win the final two games and mark their territory on the AFC Playoffs? Let’s hope the Steelers find a way to advance to 9-6 as they they travel to play the Jets this week on Sunday at Metlife Stadium.
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