Mike Tomlin’s Pittsburgh Steelers have perfected the art of losing in a humiliating fashion to teams the Steelers were heavily fancied to destroy. To lose by 15 points to the normally submissive Miami Dolphins was the Steelers’ masterpiece in the expertise of losing to inferior teams.
Take a look at the pricing for the underdogs
Anyone visiting sites like Betway way looking at prices for the underdogs to secure a win against the Steelers will find favourable and tempting odds. As Pittsburgh continue to fall against these types of teams, it may be a wise move to consider this sort of bet at the moment. For some strange reason, it’s now not the smart move to select the six-time Super Bowl champions to beat a substandard football team. The Steelers’ latest humiliation of 15-30 against the Miami Dolphins had an air of inevitability about it following their 3-34 loss a few weeks earlier to the Philadelphia Eagles. Every year they lose to the teams everyone else beats and now it has become a team trait rather than a strange glitch or an anomaly.
History of loss
Tomlin has had to deliver the same meaningless cliche after each performance fiasco and in his 10 years at the helm in Pittsburgh, there have been some performances that have been truly impressive in their ineptness. Just to list some classic examples of the Steelers’ ability to lose against wispy opposition, there was the 2009 loss to the 2-7 Kansas City Chiefs when the Steelers were 6-3, which was given an encore two weeks later with losses at the hands of the Oakland Raiders and the Cleveland Browns.
The Steelers lost again to the Browns in 2012, when they were 6-4, and Cleveland were 2-8 and followed that up two weeks later, with a loss to the 4-8 San Diego Chargers.
2013 saw the Steelers lose to a 0-3 Minnesota Vikings team and a 2-4 Oakland Raiders team. 2014 was a particularly vintage year for failure against the weaker teams, with the Steelers falling to 0-3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the 1-8 New York Jets. To put the problem in a nutshell, the Steelers have had 14 losses over the past six seasons to teams with a combined .195 winning percentage, while the Steelers entered those games with a combined winning percentage of .581.
Tomlin needs to find an answer
Every single team in the NFL is full of professionals endowed with talent and the desire to win, but no other team so consistently loses to the dregs of the league like Tomlin’s Steelers. As fans, we all like to see an upset now and again, but the consistency of the Steelers’ letdowns makes you question the mentality of the players and the preparation of the coaching staff when priming the team for these supposedly easier games.
It’s perhaps time for Tomlin to look at things differently and question how this pattern has emerged and what the team can do to stop the rot and get back to the Super Bowl.
Right now, the Steelers should be 6-0, but they’re not losing to decent opponents; they’re failing against the worst of the worst at every opportunity.
It would at least be promising for Pittsburgh fans if Tomlin exhibited any kind of acknowledgement of the problem, but he seems unwilling to make alterations or adapt to resolve the issue.
It’s an avoidable issue that could see Pittsburgh miss the playoffs entirely and Tomlin really needs to find an approach that gets his team as fired up for the games against the minnows of the league as they are against the elite teams.
Tomlin is a young and successful head coach, so he still has time to learn and adjust his technique to start winning against the losers, but he seems to have a stubbornness that has prevented him from improving this record over the past few years.
The Super Bowl XLIII win means the fans remain on his side but keep losing the winnable games over and over again and there will be some fans who start to question his ability to solve this peculiar problem.