(Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
While the Pittsburgh Steelers have been consistently competitive for the last two decades, they’re been having trouble going beyond mere competitiveness.
On Monday, they lost in the first round of the playoffs to the red-hot Buffalo Bills, 31-17, and while there was at least one questionable call or non-call that should’ve gone in their favor, the fact is that they simply don’t have a very good roster.
In fact, they haven’t won a postseason game since the 2016 season, which means that 23 of the 31 other NFL teams have won a postseason game more recently than they have, per Ari Meirov.
23 other NFL teams have won a playoff game more recently than the #Steelers. pic.twitter.com/SMwzO8dp02
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) January 16, 2024
Pittsburgh does have some viable players — George Pickens and Diontae Johnson are a solid wide receiver duo, running back Najee Harris ran for 1,035 yards and eight touchdowns in the regular season, and pass rusher T.J. Watt made his sixth straight Pro Bowl while posting a league-high 19.0 sacks.
However, they have a big hole at the quarterback position.
Kenny Pickett, a first-round draft pick in 2022, has been a disappointment, and head coach Mike Tomlin elected to continue to go with Mason Rudolph under center even after Pickett returned from an injury.
On Monday, Rudolph completed 22 of 39 pass attempts for 229 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception.
Since taking over as head coach for the 2007 campaign, Tomlin has never had a losing record with Pittsburgh, which is impressive considering the problems they have had at QB ever since the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger following the 2021 season.
But Steeler Nation has been spoiled by the immense success of the franchise, and it will grow restless if the team doesn’t find another franchise QB relatively soon.
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