Le’Veon Bell gone, Antonio Brown traded, Big Ben’s season over, and a 1-4 start, all placing Mike Tomlin on the coaching hot seat. The outlook of the Steeler’s 2019-2020 season could not have looked worse.

Despite the noise, Mike Tomlin has pulled his team together, winning 4 straight games and leading the charge to a 5-4 record. Hope has reignited across Steeler Nation, but many questions remain unanswered.

The first question mark is the Steelers’ playoff chances. Senior Will Lugaila, “thinks they will make playoffs.” He sees a positive trend for the Steelers as they head into the rest of their season, and they will continue to be led to victory under Tomlin.

Will also shared what he believes has been helping the Steelers win their games. “The defense has been better.” It’s true, since starting 1-4, the Steelers have improved defensively in every single category, despite having an inconsistent offense.

Leo Smith, Pictured Above, is staying mostly loyal to his hometown team.

A second question mark is how the Steelers will perform against their remaining opponents. Senior Leo Smith believes that the Steelers “will win every game except against the Ravens and Bills.” But, unlike Will, he says it will “not be enough for them to make the playoffs in such a competitive AFC this season.” Leo is absolutely correct. There are an array of 6-4, 5-4, 4-5, and 4-6 teams, all placing them still in the playoff hunt. The Steelers have to compete against the likes of the Chiefs, Colts, Bills, Raiders, Jaguars, Titans, and more.¬† It is a tough road ahead for them.

Leo also called into question the defense, despite their recent success: “Bud Dupree should be unemployed, and Artie Burns is a walking dumpster fire!” Harsh, brash words were hurled at the stability of the Steeler’s defensive unit by Leo. He believes that the Steelers cannot simply build their entire defense around one player, that being the Steelers’ new defensive star, Minkah Fitzpatrick. A one-dimensional defense may not win games down the road.

However, the Steelers do have hope. They have the likes of T.J. Watt and Joe Haden in the backfield, and rising rookies such as Devin Bush in the backfield as well. The Steelers defense has many developing players.

(Live Picture from Steelers vs. Dolphins Game)

The coaching is another area of mystery. Is Mike Tomlin to be given the credit for coaching the Steelers out of such a gaping hole of a season start? Leo does not seem so convinced. “It has just been an easier schedule. We definitely lost games we should have won. Our talent gives us a chance, but we seem extremely disorganized. Playing down to competition is another problem, barely beating the Dolphins.” It is true. The Steelers looked to certainly lose to the Dolphins after the Dolphins roared to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. It was looking like a sure loss for the Steelers, and another game of playing terribly against a weaker opponent. Thankfully, it did not happen, but it nearly did. And the majority of the Steelers’ victories have, in fact, come against sub-500 teams (winning less than half of a given team’s games). Despite this, they have won games against¬† solid opponents in the Rams and Colts. Whether they continue their success is yet to be seen, and will be a true test for Mike Tomlin.

(Live Picture from Steelers vs. Dolphins Game)

The Steelers have a long road ahead. Will offered his final thoughts on the Steelers’ 2019-2020 journey: “Mason Rudolph will grow as a QB this season. I think he has improved over the past couple of games that he played. He will lead them to a future.” Time will tell if Mason Rudolph and the revitalized Steelers defense will be enough for future success. But, by and large, the keys remain in Mike Tomlin’s hands. He must continue to lead his team, and prove that he can continue helping a struggling Steelers franchise to thrive.

Despite all the noise, Tomlin has certainly seemed to be doing a fine job. It is now only a question of whether his coaching success will continue. That has yet to be seen.

 

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