There’s always so much to talk about when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers. But the inquiries surrounding the black-and-gold are definitely ever-evolving, especially this week with the Steelers snapping their three-game losing streak after a stellar comeback against the Colts last week at home. Their is surely a lot to wonder about. BTSC tries to answer some of the poignant wonderings ahead of time. Take a gander at some bold statements on this and more as we label them as fact or fiction.
Are we on point? Only time will tell.
Resting players will hurt, not help the Steelers
The Steelers most certainly need a rest. They never officially had a bye in 2020. You can’t count the respective Sundays off after the Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens ruined their bye week or mini-bye weeks after negligence leading to their games with the black-and-gold to be postponed. Dave Schofield spoke in great detail with phenomenal statistical backup on the Steelers Stat Geek this week regarding the perils of resting a starting quarterback. But this is a situation where choosing rest over rust is worth the calculated gamble. This is not two weeks off like the Chiefs are granting Patrick Mahomes. But when you have a 38-year old quarterback like the Steelers do in Big Ben Roethlisberger, you want to limit his hits right before the playoffs. As for T.J. Watt, Maurkice Pouncey and Cam Heyward, their inclusion is imperative in the Wild Card Round as well. Resting players doesn’t help the Steelers beat the Browns, but it won’t break their backs in the manner that an injury would.
Week 17 is more meaningful to the Steelers than most people think
Winning this game seems like it is only useful if the Bills lose. Then the Steelers would slide into the second seed. But knocking a rising division foe from the postseason with starters like Roethlisberger, Watt, Pouncey, Heyward, Terrell Edmunds, the injured Chris Boswell, Eric Ebron and Joe Haden would mean that the Steelers would have a huge boost of confidence and momentum going forward. This would mean so much to a team that has struggled since going 11-0. A win isn’t necessary, but would be awesome heading into the tournament on a high note.
The relationship between Ben Roethlisberger and Randy Fichtner seems to be stronger than ever
This is nothing but pure speculation, but the eye test makes it seems like this relationship is faltering faster than a dollar store toaster. Fichtner, promoted from being the quarterbacks coach because of Ben’s influence and endorsement, has been accused of having a vanilla offensive game plan in 2020. First of all, Vanilla is a dynamic flavor. Randy’s offense is more like licking the back of an envelope and like Susan Ross in Seinfeld...that could prove lethal to one’s self. On multiple occasions, Ben has taken the play calling duties upon himself. He claimed to have been drawing plays up in the dirt in Dallas and his receivers back up that he was responsible for the second half resurgence against Indy. Fichtner disputes that. But when team fortunes went south in December, Randyland scapegoated Ben for orchestrating the plays. Ben has downplayed his OC’s role at times too. This union looks like it’s headed for Divorce Court.
At 12-3, Mike Tomlin should still be a Coach of the Year candidate
Candidate, yes. Winner, no. I think what Coach T has done this year is great, but what he did last year was even more remarkable. The Steelers Head Coach most certainly belongs in the conversation. Even though Tomlin is currently the favorite according to the Vegas odds makers and the better HC, I think what Brian Flores has done in Miami was harder to achieve. I would give Kevin Stefanski in Cleveland consideration as well. I don’t think it would be a slight for Mike if he didn’t win the award. I think there are other honors for the 2020 season that he is chasing more than this one.
One good half against the Colts doesn’t mean that the Steelers offensive woes are behind them
This is absolutely true. We won’t really know until the playoffs, but should the Steelers go back to the bland and predictable style of offense that made this team seem more anemic than that of Masters of the Universe villain Skeletor...then everybody would realize that the surge was merely an aberration and that the Steelers were still in loads of peril. They could very well revert back. But should Big Ben and the Steelers model their game plan on the second half against the Colts, they could very well be a very dangerous team in January.
Are these statements valid? We will soon see. What matters most are your opinions on the matter. Please state them in the comments below or on our social media.
Check out the Fact or Fiction podcast to learn even more about these topics, and their status, heading into this week’s game: