One of the reasons the Steelers came into their Week 15 game against the Bills with an 8-5 record and control over their ability to make the playoffs was turnover ratio.
They’d taken the ball away from opponents 12 more times than they’d given it away, which helped make up for the loss of Ben Roethlisberger and extended absences from other offensive players. The Steelers have lost that control over the last two weeks and a shift in turnover ratio has been a big part of back-to-back losses.
They’ve turned it over seven time while taking it away three times in one-score losses to the Bills and Jets. Head coach Mike Tomlin made the need to change that around a focal point in his Tuesday press conference.
“It’s very specific how we have to engineer victory in the current state that we’re in, and possession of the ball and taking care of the football is such a significant component of that,” Tomlin said. “We didn’t take care of the ball well enough on Sunday. We didn’t care of the ball enough really in the last two weeks and that’s why we’re having the type of discussions that we’re having regarding performance.”
Devlin Hodges has been responsible for six of those turnovers, which is why he was benched in the second quarter last Sunday. Mason Rudolph‘s injury forced Pittsburgh to turn back to Hodges and anything like the last two outings will likely drop the curtain on the Steelers for this season.