Updated: Dec 26, 2019
There are times when one watches a contest between two seemingly evenly-matched teams, one is able to distinguish themselves from the other. Coming into their contest with the Bills, both these teams had certain two notable things in common; both were fighting for a wild card spot and both teams had potent defensive units.
When the game started, right from the first sequence, the difference in level of play soon
revealed itself. Simply put, the Bills beat the Steelers in an area which generally determines the outcome of a contest; the trenches. Though the Steelers started winning more battles in the second half, the Bills exposed their vulnerabilities in the trenches.
If we are to be objective, they were beaten soundly in this contest, despite what the final score may suggest. In essence, the Steelers were what they have been all season; a developing team that has overachieved.
So the pending question, is this overachieving Steelers team a playoff team? On offense, they have been dealing with questionable playing calling and a glaring deficiency in producing offense since week 1. The reality is, this offensive unit has not evolved into one that can contend against playoff-caliber teams. The fact they are 8-5 after everything they have had to overcome, is a victory within itself.
What has defined this team all season, has been the emergence of their defense. As great as this unit has been, they require a consistent offense in order to make a meaningful playoff run, let alone make the playoffs. The reality is, this team is not a balanced one, and for that reason, they are more than likely to experience a quick exit in the playoffs.
One thing we can predict this offseason is the inevitable emphasis the Steelers brass will need to make on the offensive side of the ball. After years of investing resources into the defense, the offense will need the same type of renovation in order for this team to reach elite state. For now, we should all be proud of all they have achieved this season.