The Steelers are coming off their second consecutive loss, slipping from the top seed in the AFC, and their head coach seems to believe he knows why it happened.
Pittsburgh was playing in its third game in 12 days, and while other teams have done so in the past, the challenge the Steelers was faced with was quite different. Two of the first three games were moved to different days, with the Steelers being stuck in limbo, as they awaited final confirmation from the league in terms of when they’d actually be playing.
And while that tough stretch likely had an impact on the team’s play, head coach Mike Tomlin didn’t blame the league for putting the Steelers in such a difficult position. Instead, he focused on his team, with a touch of weather as well. The Steelers have controlled the trenches for much of the season, but they didn’t in Sunday’s 26-15 loss to the Bills, and Tomlin believed that’s why they lost the game.
“I thought in all elements of play, they were the more physical group,” Tomlin said, via CBS Sports. “They’re a physical football team in general, and so they’re capable of that. But for us, regardless of circumstance, we don’t want to make that comment. But that comment is true as it pertains to that matchup. We’ve got to be accountable to that, and we are. We’ve got to make sure that we’re not saying that moving forward. There haven’t been a lot of situations where we can say that, but definitely, I thought they were the most physical group.”
The good news for the Steelers is that they should be able to dominate the trenches against the struggling Bengals, but the injuries are really piling up for them this season, and it’s possible that they peaked too soon. Time will tell.