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A loss Sunday night could put the Steelers into a tailspin

The Steelers confidence appears to be on thin ice and it can't afford another backbreaking defeat

NFL: Detroit Lions at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are a team having gone through some emotional turbulence over the past few weeks. They barely squeaked out a victory over the Chicago Bears, and then tied the Detroit Lions. Now they are traveling across the country to face a dangerous Los Angeles Chargers team and they are doing it without half of their roster. On paper everything is adding up for a historic collapse for an organization built on structure and stability. But like with anything in pro sports, everything can't always be sunshine and rainbows forever. At some point you have to take a step back in order to launch forward again.

Perhaps that is what the Steelers are faced with now. An embarrassing loss may just start a chain reaction. The Steelers have back-to-back divisional games after Sunday night clash in Los Angeles. Going on a losing skid here likely kills any hope of a divisional crown, and barring another long winning streak it may even spark the end of any playoff hopes whatsoever.

What we do know is the Pittsburgh Steelers have struggled a lot this year but have managed to win these tight games. This season has the appearance of a house of cards, at any moment it could all come crashing down and this Sunday in prime time certainly gives the appearance of that catalyst. An embarrassing result could be just the push to send the Steelers falling into the abyss and on its way to its first losing season in close to 20 years.

All good things must come to and end. And without a resilient effort in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, the Steelers very long history of winning seasons could begin to meet its end. With a tough remaining schedule, and a litany of divisional opponents on the horizon, the Steelers will either raise to the occasion, unlike any Steelers team in recent memory, or play down to the level of team many thought they would be before the season started.

If the Steelers somehow pull this stretch off and find themselves in a playoff spot at season’s end, it may very well go down as Mike Tomlin's greatest coaching accomplishments. This team has the bones to pull off some scrappy victories, but faced with the injuries they currently have, I can't imagine they can survive very long.

But what do you think? Are the Steelers facing their downfall in the eye? Let us know why or why not in the comments below.