Well, it’s hard to believe, but the Pittsburgh Steelers’ bye week is officially here. Week 9 of the 2022 NFL regular season. Yes, the Steelers’ 2-6 record is easily forgettable, but it is always amazing how fast the season goes once it arrives.
For sites like BTSC, you get into a rhythm of weekly content, and it makes the days just grind by without much of a thought. Let me explain...
Sunday: Game day
Monday: Reaction day
Tuesday: Mike Tomlin Tuesday
Wednesday: 1st Injury Report
Thursday: 2nd Injury Report
Friday: 3rd, and final, Injury Report
Saturday: Final roster moves made
As you can tell, it is easy to get into this cycle and find yourself in a downward spiral. If the Steelers are winning, the spiral isn’t downward. In fact, it is exhilarating; however, the 2022 season has proven to be a grind.
When I consider the team is at the halfway point of the season, I often wonder how the players must feel with this weekly grind. When you aren’t winning, and things aren’t going your way, it has to be grueling. Here I am complaining about typing and talking about the team, while they are the ones getting physically pushed around and hit on a weekly basis.
But their halfway point is here, and the team is halfway home.
What will the rest of this season have in store for the black-and-gold? Your guess is as good as mine, but I’ll tell you five things I’ll be watching down the stretch...
I want this team to experience success, especially the young offense. It could start with just points scored, and build from there. The 15-point weekly average is abysmal, but it would be difficult for it to get worse, right?
Getting T.J. Watt back will be key, but so will Damontae Kazee and Larry Ogunjobi. There is no one coming in to save the offense, at least from the outside, so it might be up to the defense to be as dominant as physically possible in 2022 to get the Steelers some wins down the stretch.
Does Mike Tomlin still have “it”? I’m not suggesting he has lost the locker room, far from it. What I’m suggesting is does Tomlin have the coaching staff in place to turn this thing around? To get the team back to respectability by season’s end?
Who is part of the rebuild?
This team is going through a rebuilding process, whether you like it or not, and the rest of the season will likely dictate who will, or won’t, be a part of that process.
All-in, or not?
Throughout the early season struggles, there have been players who have been noticeably dejected throughout the season. Diontae Johnson has done it, Pat Freiermuth has experienced it and several other players have visibly struggled with the team’s current state. Who buys in, and goes all-in, down the stretch? And who continues to pout and mope their way to Week 18?
As you can see, in my opinion, there is plenty to watch in the final nine games of the regular season. What are you looking forward to seeing? Anything in particular? Let me/us know in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the New Orleans Saints in Week 10 of the regular season.