Week 16 Steelers vs. Chiefs Postgame Commentary: A Hard Dose Of Reality
Let us get this out of the way: the 2021 Pittsburgh Steelers are not a playoff team.
It is fitting that in Ben Roethlisberger's final season in a Steelers uniform, the offense is the worst it has ever been; then again, we said the same thing about the offense last season under former coordinator Randy Fichtner. One has to ask what has held this team back offensively in the last two seasons. Perhaps this is a matter to discuss at another time.
In general, this game against the Kansas City Chiefs was over before it even started. Let us put this into perspective. The last time the Steelers went five games without a first-half touchdown was in 1940; a small sample of how futile the offense has been this season. The only thing that I am concerned about is how they plan on fixing it this offseason.
All signs indicate that this fix will take more than one offseason. This has the makings of a process that will take two or three years. By that time, defensive lineman Cameron Heyward may no longer be on the team, and linebacker TJ Watt may be past his prime.
As bad as the offense was in this game, the defense was just as bad. The same issues reared their ugly heads again: poor tackling, losing battles in the trenches, and poor secondary coverage. For the most part, the defense has helped to cover up the offense's many flaws. However, this season, they have fallen apart early in games with little signs of recovery. This is a unit that will also need to be addressed in the offseason, specifically the defensive line and linebacker positions.
More can be said, but at this point, it is becoming a weekly tradition to scrutinize this team for all its problems. One has to wonder if head coach Mike Tomlin's message has worn thin, and if he is the one holding them back. If this is the case, then they have a serious problem.
No matter how this season ends, this team is in dire need of restructuring from the top, and all the way down to the players themselves. Whether fans want to acknowledge it or not, this team needs to make major changes in order to avoid fading into obscurity.