Column: Big win shows Steelers can pull it together


Photo via USA Today

This win does not necessarily guarantee a trip to the Super Bowl, but it does show that the Steelers can stand up to this kind of competition.

Jaiman White, Staff Writer

It’s fair to say that the Steelers have had a bumpy season.

In Week 1, Pittsburgh tied Cleveland, marking the point in history fans when knew it was going to be an interesting season. However, the ball started to get rolling after Week 5, as the Steelers would go on a six-game winning streak, only to crash back down to Earth by losing three in a row and falling in the standings as the Ravens continued to move up the ranks, making the Steelers’ playoff window get tighter and tighter.

But when Tom Brady and company came to town on Sunday, the Steelers were able to come away with a statement win over the arch-rival New England Patriots, and Yinzers everywhere could finally rejoice.

The question is: Can the Steelers repeat this kind of powerful performance?

One of Sunday’s biggest differences on Sunday from the Steelers’ play from past weeks was that the team stuck to the running game.

Recently Coach Mike Tomlin and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger have hit the panic button faster than Antonio Brown drives on the freeway, which usually results in Ben throwing it 50 times and making costly mistakes.

That may be understandable, given that the available running backs have been rookie Jaylen Samuels and journeyman Steven Ridley, but with this offensive line any running back can make an impact.

That offensive line showed its dominance in the win over the Patriots as Samuels tallied 142 yards on 19 attempts, and the line allowed little pressure to get to Roethlisberger.

The defense also showed some life as they limited Rob Gronkowski and pressured Brady in a way that he was clearly not used to. Although it’s a young corps, the defense showed they can play when it matters most.

Even with all the positives, there are still some things the team needs to address.

Special teams continues to be an issue, as kicker Chris Boswell still shows signs of being rattled in some way, and the Patriots were able to absolutely dominate the Steelers’ return game.

Roethlisberger continues to be a gunslinger and continues to make mistakes that could potentially lead to compromising positions. Meanwhile, the Ravens have had their own kind of success late in the season, making the AFC North completely up for grabs.

With all that being said, however, the Steelers’ win over the Patriots has shown that when it matters most, when the race is close to being done, and when the pressure of Yinzers galore is looming, this team can come together and play good football. Leaders in the locker room will begin to emerge, the players will band together, and the consistent talents will remain consistent.

This win does not necessarily guarantee a trip to the Super Bowl, but it does show that the Steelers can stand up to this kind of competition.