The Steelers were one of only eight teams to win a postseason game following the 2015 season, but that doesn’t make the season a success.
As Steelers coach Mike Tomlin put it, the team entered the season with championship aspirations, and so concluding the season with a loss in the divisional round of the playoffs is a disappointment.
“I’m disappointed,” Tomlin said. “That’s just an honest answer. I think we all are. We appreciate the support that we get from others, the acknowledgment of the fight and all of that. But, we go into the journey with that understanding, that it’s going to be difficult, that’s it’s going to be a fight, that a fight is going to be required. We set out to be world champion. That was our goal. We meant it. It’s not us this year, so there’s disappointment.”
The Steelers’ wild card win over the Bengals was their first postseason victory since the 2010 season, so some coaches might view that as a sign that the season was a step in the right direction. But Tomlin knows the expectations are higher than that in Pittsburgh. If the Steelers’ season is over before the AFC Championship Game, that means the Steelers’ season was a disappointment.