It’s a good thing they still have the iconic black and yellow uniforms, and all those trophies in the case.
Because at the moment, the Steelers don’t look very much like, well, the Steelers.
The frustrations are already beginning to build after their 20-10 loss to the Bengals last night and their first 0-2 start since 2002 — meaning neither coach Mike Tomlin nor quarterback Ben Roethlisberger have ever experienced it.
“We are a frustrated group right now,” Tomlin said, via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We got work to do. There’s a certain amount of misery that comes with the position we’re in. We’re aware of it.”
Part of the problem is, the traditional things they’ve relied on in the past aren’t there anymore.
It was just the second time in 13 games they’ve lost at Cincinnati.
The Steelers have always been a run/stop-the-run team, and they’re doing neither well at the moment. They had 44 on the ground, but watched the Bengals put up 127.
For the second straight game, they produced no turnovers on defense, and the only sack they have this season came last week.
That had some players circling the wagons and some worried about the immediacy of their problems.
“We still have 14 games left,” wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders said. “There is no need to panic. We’re not in trouble.”
“If we don’t shore some things up,” safety Ryan Clark said, “if we don’t play better than we played tonight, we won’t win A game.”
The thought of the Steelers being 0-16 seems ridiculous. But so does the thought of them doing the things they’ve always done so well so poorly now.