The Pittsburgh Steelers’ Week 6 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was certainly out of the ordinary. Riding a 4-game losing streak, no one expected the Steelers to be able to beat Tom Brady, especially with the injury issues in the team’s secondary.
Nonetheless, the 20-18 score equated in the team’s second win of the season. Reason to celebrate, right? Not necessarily. With the Steelers you can tell the message delivered to the team from Mike Tomlin after the game, and this message was simple.
It was a win, but it was just one win. The team has to take it just one game at a time to dig themselves out of the hole they dug for themselves. Tomlin reiterated this in the post-game press conference.
“Like I said at the beginning of the week, where we are is more than one good day, one good plan, one good winning performance in terms of working our way back to respectability.” said Tomlin. “So, we’re appreciative of today, but we still understand exactly where we are, and we aren’t running away from it. We’ll continue to run to it and get better and prepare for our next opportunity.”
The message regarding the Steelers climbing their way back to respectability went across the entire locker room, but mail on offense.
“It just says we got it done today.” Tomlin said after the team’s 20-point output was the highest in a regulation game this season. “We’re not looking to make any more statements than that. We realize that it’s more than one day, one good plan, one winning performance as we work back to respectability.”
The team takes a one game approach, the offense follows suit and even certain players need to subscribe to this theory. Third year wide receiver Chase Claypool would fall into this category, according to his head coach.
“It was a good day today.” Tomlin said of Claypool’s 7 catch, 96 yard, 1 TD performance vs. Tampa Bay. “We’re talking about what transpired today. He made some critical plays today. We’re not trying to paint with a broad brush and show some trajectory. He made some plays today and I’m appreciative of it.”
As for the players, they were echoing Tomlin’s sentiment after the game. When defensive captain Cam Heyward met with the media, he recognized the necessity of the win, but wasn’t about to declare the defense was “back” after one good outing.
“It’s very necessary. It hasn’t been easy. But that doesn’t absolve us of our record.” Heyward said. “This is something we have to keep working towards. It’s great to get a win today. But it’s a learning moment for a lot of guys. And as many good plays as we made there was bad plays out there. So, you take the good with the bad. You just try to keep growing from this. Keep stacking wins.”
But the defense is at least rounding into form, right? Heyward wasn’t about to go there. Not yet anyways.
“We got some work to do.” said Heyward. “I thought we applied pressure. Stopped the run to a degree. But, man, we ain’t back yet. We got some work to do.”
Coming off the bench following Kenny Pickett’s concussion, Mitch Trubisky spoke about the win as necessary, but like his coach, knows it doesn’t equate to a free-and-easy approach to the team’s Week 7 game in prime time.
“It’s very necessary. It hasn’t been easy. But that doesn’t absolve us of our record.” Trubisky stated. “This is something we have to keep working towards. It’s great to get a win today. But it’s a learning moment for a lot of guys. And as many good plays as we made there was bad plays out there. So, you take the good with the bad. You just try to keep growing from this. Keep stacking wins.”
The job for the Steelers to “stack wins” doesn’t get any easier with a trip to south beach to play the Miami Dolphins on Sunday Night Football in Week 7. Following that game, the Steelers head to the currently undefeated Philadelphia Eagles in Week 8 before their Week 9 bye week.
The schedule is what it is, and if Week 6’s win over Tom Brady and company didn’t prove the team is “back”, it certainly proved they are capable of pulling off upset wins when many didn’t expect it.
One game at a time...