“Disappointing outcome. A lot to work on,” Mike Tomlin told ESPN Steelers reporter Brooke Pryor after the game.
The Steelers looked listless in the first half without starting quarterback Kenny Pickett. He suffered a high-ankle sprain during Pittsburgh's 24-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 13. The prognosis on Kenny Pickett is he could sit out an entire month following in-season ankle surgery.
Without Pickett in tow, the Steelers' flickering postseason hopes are hanging by a thread. Pittsburgh scored just 10 points in the first half with backup signal caller Mitchell Trubisky leading the offense. The Steelers mustered just 264 yards of total offense on TNF.
Mike Tomlin's Steelers have been struggling lately
Pittsburgh showed some promise in the aftermath of offensive coordinator Matt Canada's dismissal several weeks ago. The Steelers racked up 421 yards in their 16-10 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 12.
Unfortunately, they couldn't get it going against the Cardinals and Patriots in consecutive weeks. Those two teams have a combined 6-20 win-loss record.
The Steelers' defense wasn't up to the task, either. They surrendered three touchdowns to Patriots quarterback Bailey Zappe in the first half alone. In doing so, Pittsburgh dug a 21-10 hole at halftime.
Pittsburgh still had a faint glimmer of hope after Mitchell Trubisky's quarterback sneak into the end zone in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, they couldn't overcome the three-point deficit.
Pittsburgh has now lost three of their past four games to fall to 7-6 on the season. They have averaged just 13.5 points in those four games.
Mike Tomlin and Co face a resurgent Indianapolis Colts in Week 15. Pittsburgh has had issues on both sides of the ball lately. Let's see if the Steelers will regroup and salvage their postseason hopes.