The Pittsburgh Steelers loss to the Buffalo Bills has absolutely shattered any level of confidence reaming in this team. The Steelers now find themselves with only a 5% chance at winning the AFC and the bye week that comes with it, and will force this team to fight to even win the AFC North. Early in the year the Steelers never played up to their potential, and instead of steadily improving they took a sharp turn for the worst. To add the cherry on top, the health of the team is in a really bad place with no signs of getting better.
What really makes this situation such a hard pill to swallow is the Pittsburgh Steelers really aren't the ones to blame for their own undoing. But, from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The effects of the Steelers’ schedule being manipulated multiple times has now come back to bite them in an ugly place.
If you recall the Steelers opened training camp back on July 28th in which the team practiced nearly every day until its season opener on September 14th. Jump ahead to Week 4 and the team was in the middle of preparing to take on the Tennessee Titans when after the week of practice was over the game was delayed due to a Titans outbreak, and the Steelers got Sunday (one day) off. Jump ahead again to Week 12, where the Steelers were preparing to play Thursday night football against the Baltimore Ravens followed by five days of rest. When COVID-19 broke out in yet another team’s locker room and delayed the game to Sunday, then Tuesday, and finally again to Wednesday. The Steelers practiced before each of those game times.
This team is physically exhausted and getting absolutely hammered by serious injuries because of it. Ligament, and muscle tears typically happen less frequently later on in the season as teams relax contact in practice. But for the Steelers, they didn't even get the recharging effect of a bye week. If the Steelers were to make it to the Super Bowl they would have had to do it playing six straight months of football without a break. That is absurd, and no team would ever accomplish that feat.
Look at the Kansas City Chiefs now, they're nearly the same exact team that started Week 1, they got there bye week, and they're 95% likely to get another. Do you think this bruised and battered Steelers team can walk into Arrowhead and put up any sort of a fight against a healthy and rested Chiefs team?
Do you know why Ben Roethlisberger’s arm looks weak? Or why receivers dropping the ball has become such a massive issue? Or why the offensive line looks disinterested in run blocking? It’s because they are so worn out by playing football they are playing distracted. Couple in a pair of coordinators that lack any sort of creativity and this team has hit the wall hard.
No running game, dropped passes, no deep throws, poor health, no offensive creativity, and no rest is the recipe for failure. And with no new players or coaches air dropping in any time soon, it really looks like a matter of time before the Steelers are knocked out in the Wild Card or Divisional round of the AFC Playoffs.
It really sucks to admit, but the 2020 Pittsburgh Steelers lost their shot at a Super Bowl when they lost the top seed in the AFC. But this team isn't going anywhere unless they get a week away from football.
They might have better odds if they rest their starters against the Browns regardless of the situation. Even if it meant losing the AFC North, and having to navigate the playoffs as a road Wild Card team.
What do you think? Do the Steelers have any chance of winning the Super Bowl? Tell us why or why not down in the comments below.