There is no hiding how the Pittsburgh Steelers looked in Weeks 6 and 7 leading up to their Week 8 bye. They looked beat up and bruised, and coming off their first back-to-back losses in 2016.
As fans continue to play the blame game in regards to who should be responsible for this valley the team currently finds themselves in, the team who returns in Week 9 could have a completely different look to it.
- There are several notable injured players who should be back to full health, or close to it. Those players include: Mike Mitchell, Markus Wheaton, Ben Roethlisberger, Marcus Gilbert, Ryan Shazier, Robert Golden, Eli Rogers, Sammie Coates, Cameron Heyward and DeAngelo Williams.
These players back on the field will make a huge difference in the team moving forward. They key will be to try and keep the players on the field for the remaining 9 games.
- Mike Tomlin’s record coming off back-to-back losses is hard to ignore. In his 10 seasons as head coach, Tomlin has only lost two games in a row on 9 occasions, several coming in the same season. Of those 9 times the team dropped two straight, only 3 times did the streak get extended to three straight losses.
- Don’t forget about the players who are going to look brand new to the lineup. Ladarius Green and, eventually, Bud Dupree should add a spark to both the offense and defense when they need it the most.
Ultimately, the Steelers are a team who is much better than the product they’ve put on the field the last two outings, and it is hard to ignore the injuries mounting at a rapid rate as the primary reason why. Take a listen to the short podcast in the player above to get a more in-depth look at just how the Steelers will come out of the bye week different, and better, for the stretch run.