12/9/19-You Predicted This Right?

By: Mike Pelaia

If back in August, I told you that 13 games into the season the Steelers would be sitting with an 8-5 record, you’d probably have taken it and ran with it. 

However, if after I told you they were 8-5; I told you they were doing it with Bud Dupree on a pro bowl pace, Stephon Tuitt being out for the year,  Diontae Johnson leading the team in catches and James Washington leading in yards, Benny Snell is their best running back and oh yeah, some guy named Duck Hodges is the starting quarterback, you’d have laughed me out of the room.  I would have laughed myself out of the room.

Who could have predicted this?  After the Steelers started the season 0-3 and 1-4, everyone thought the season was over.  It was time for Mason Rudolph to get his year of reps in before becoming the heir apparent to Roethlisberger.  Minkah Fitzpatrick was a ‘good’ trade but one that wouldn’t pay dividends until 2020 and Mike Tomlin was going to need to consider replacing both coordinators at seasons end. 

Fast forward a few months and here the Steelers sit, 8-5, in the 6th spot in the AFC and controlling their own destiny.  If they win out, they’re in the playoffs.  If they go 2-1, they are still more than likely in and even if they go 1-2, they have a strong chance.  Honestly, if they lose out and finish 8-8, despite most assuredly missing the post-season, the record will have been mighty impressive with the cast of characters they have used.

I’ve always been quick to call for Tomlins head, I’ve often thought the team has won in spite of him, but I have to say, this is the best coaching job he’s ever done.  I can’t get on him at all this season, it’s been nothing short of impressive to see this team win the way they have. 

One thing is utterly clear to me, he gets his guys to play for him. At 0-3, there could have been quit in that locker room, but he didn’t allow it.  If guys like Antonio Brown and/or LeVeon Bell were in there, do you think this team would be 8-5 right now? The answer is a definitive NO.

I’ve never been a fan of the phrase ‘addition by subtraction’ but that’s truly what happened in the case of those two players, specifically Brown. This team is family again. They are cohesive, with one goal in mind, winning football games. They don’t worry about stats, they just want to win. And that’s the formula for success. 

This team has each others backs. You can tell they like being around each other and want to win for each other. 

With three games left, we’ll see where this crazy ride goes, but at 8-5, with this cast of characters, we all need to be impressed.

But we all predicted this, right?

Comments

2 Comments on "12/9/19-You Predicted This Right?"

  1. Longarm on Mon, 9th Dec 2019 10:39 pm 

    I also have been down on Tomlin over the years but like you I have to give him credit for this year. He has done a great job with the cards he was dealt I’m also impressed with Duck. He may be the future for the Black and Gold. It’s going to be interesting to see what takes place in the future.

  2. Jay on Tue, 10th Dec 2019 8:43 am 

    You nailed it, the culture of this club is a lot better now that Brown is gone. Their want to win will drive them straight into the off season!