There are some who believe motivation shouldn’t be necessary for players who are getting paid millions to play a game. I can see this side of the story, but there are always those circumstances when extrinsic motivation can certainly come in handy.
Being labeled an underdog can be enough to motivate players, just ask the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles, but getting revenge on an opponent certainly is another way to motivate a team. The 2019 Pittsburgh Steelers, will have their share of opportunities for revenge this upcoming season.
The dictionary definition of revenge is as follows:
the action of inflicting hurt or harm on someone for an injury or wrong suffered at their hands.
If you think back to the past few months/seasons, the Steelers will have ample opportunity to seek out revenge.
The first area to hopefully feel the wrath of the 2019 Steelers is the national sports media - all those people who have bashed the Steelers, Mike Tomlin, the organization and Ben Roethlisberger throughout the offseason - the media members who predicted the Steelers won’t make the playoffs and their playoff window is officially closed. The Steelers can deliver a big slice of humble pie to those media members by going out and taking care of business.
While the Steelers don’t play the Oakland Raiders this season, you better believe Ben Roethlisberger and JuJu Smith-Schuster want nothing more than to go out and light the world on fire, proving not only to themselves, but to fans everywhere how the Steelers weren’t made by Antonio Brown, but Antonio Brown was made by Roethlisberger and the Steelers.
Mike Tomlin certainly can dish out a little bit of revenge in a lot of ways. Silencing his critics who claim he won with Bill Cowher’s players, always loses to sub-par teams and has lost control of his locker room by getting back to the big dance would go a long way towards cementing his own legacy within the organization.
But let’s not forget the actual product on the field. There are several games on the Steelers’ 2019 schedule which will give them an opportunity to right some wrongs done in the 2018 season.
Let’s take a look:
Week 1 at Patriots
Yes, I realize the Steelers beat the Patriots last year, but they are still the Patriots, and they are the defending Super Bowl champions. What better way to exorcise the demons than by ruining the party at Foxborough in Week 1.
Week 5 vs. Ravens
It’s the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field. Do I need to say any more? This will be the first meeting between the two teams with Lamar Jackson entrenched as the starter, and if the Steelers are hoping for a season sweep of their rivals, this is a game they must-win.
Week 6 at Chargers
Everyone remembers the 2018 game at Heinz Field vs. the Los Angeles Chargers, where the officiating crew completely forgot to watch the offensive tackle jumping offsides. Time to seek some revenge in 2019.
Week 11 at Browns
Remember the Week 1 tie in 2018? Yeah, it still doesn’t sound right. Baker Mayfield and the media’s new favorite team, the Browns, will be facing off against the Steelers for the first time in 2019. Steelers can set the tone early.
Week 16 at Jets
The Le’Veon Bell game. While Bell’s departure wasn’t as messy as Brown’s, he still didn’t show up when the team expected him last year. This will be the defense’s first crack at cracking Bell on the field as a member of the Jets.
Did I miss something? Is there another area of the Steelers which is ripe for some revenge? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!