The Pittsburgh Steelers have put themselves in an uncomfortable position heading into Week 14. With losses to the Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Chargers in back-to-back games, the Baltimore Ravens are now just half a game behind the Steelers.
The AFC North crown seemed like it was locked up for the team in the Steel City, but that’s no longer the case. The Steelers had a sizable lead in Week 13, going up 23-7 at one point. That lead quickly evaporated, with the Chargers tying the game in the fourth quarter.
LA and Pittsburgh then traded touchdowns before a game-winning drive from Philip Rivers, setting up Michael Badgley kicking the go-ahead field goal as time expired. It was another devastating loss for the Steelers in a game they should have easily won.
To make matters worse, the Steelers need to face the New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints in Weeks 15 and 16. It could become very interesting in the AFC North if the Ravens handle their business.
At some point, Steeler fans need to stop blaming their players for inexcusable losses. Mike Tomlin should be on the hot seat for a team that has continually underachieved under his regime since he las made the Super Bowl in 2011.
Here are a few reasons why it’s time for Pittsburgh to move on from Coach Tomlin.
3. No Accountability
A constant on Tomlin-led Steelers teams is a lack of accountability. Players are allowed to act or do whatever they want with no repercussions. Winning has drowned out the drama for years, until now when they are struggling to secure victories like usual.
The Le’Veon Bell situation is a perfect example of this. Bell decided to sit out this season after receiving the franchise tag again. He was yearning for a long-term lucrative contract with more guaranteed money, but Pittsburgh wasn’t willing to give it to him.
Players within the organization started to trash Bell for his absence, stating that they didn’t need him. Of all the guys who had to be the voice of reason, Antonio Brown showed his support for Bell.
Where was Tomlin in all of this? Staying silent while his team was ripping one of their best players in the media. These types of situations should be held behind closed doors, making it Tomlin’s responsibility to hold true to keeping his team “together.”
Even former Steeler James Harrison stated that there’s a lack of discipline and accountability when it comes to Tomlin-led teams. This has been an overlying issue since Tomlin took the Steelers job, but it’s finally at the forefront with the team struggling (by their standards).
2. Can’t Get Past Patriots
Since the New England Patriots dynasty began in the early 2000s, many teams have fallen victim to their dominance. This has especially held true when it comes to the Steelers since Tomlin came aboard.
Since Tomlin was hired as the head coach in 2007, the Steelers hold a 2-7 record against the Patriots. Their last win came in 2011. Tomlin has had very talented teams that have been incapable of overcoming the Patriots’ reign in the AFC.
Since Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have been together, the AFC has gone through New England nearly every year. The Steelers have been unable to take down the Patriots, especially with Tomlin at the helm. Why is that? Is it the talent? The schemes?
The Steelers get owned by the Patriots using these idiotic defensive concepts. They really thought they could cover Keenan Allen with a LB most of the game, and especially on the game's biggest play. https://t.co/XLGKahCvfy
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) December 3, 2018
It’s a little mixture of everything, besides talent for the most part. For years, the Steelers have boasted one of the best offenses in the NFL with Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, and Antonio Brown. Yet, they’ve only made it to the AFC Championship game once with that trio.
In that game, they suffered a staggering defeat to the Patriots, losing 36-17. That is very telling for a team that isn’t void of talent. There is a common saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. The Steelers cannot follow this mantra when it comes to Tomlin.
If Tomlin shows yet again that the Patriots are too much to handle, it’s time for a change.
1. Not Much Playoff Success Since Winning Super Bowl
The Steelers hoisted the Lombardi Trophy in 2009 under Tomlin. That was his third season, with people labeling him as one of the best coaches in the NFL.
In 2011, the Steelers made another Super Bowl run before falling short to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Since then, Tomlin holds a record of 80-39-1 in the regular season. In Pittsburgh though, it isn’t about what you do in the regular season.
The Steelers franchise has six Super Bowl rings in their rich history. That is the most by any team in NFL history, making anything short of a Super Bowl a disappointing year.
Since the Steelers made it to the Super Bowl in 2011, their playoff success has diminished. They have a record of 4-5 in the postseason since, failing to reach the Super Bowl in any of those campaigns.
The Patriots aren’t the only reason why the Steelers have been unable to make another run at a Super Bowl. They’ve only faced each other once in the playoffs once since Tomlin took over, that AFC title game mentioned previously.
We just saw Mike McCarthy get fired for his inability to capitalize on Aaron Rodgers’ prime after winning that Super Bowl over Pittsburgh nearly a decade ago. Tomlin could suffer the same fate soon if the Steelers fall short once more under his regime.