(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
The Steelers' playoff hopes are pretty much finished, as they were put in a tough spot with the Bengals beating the Chiefs, 34-31, on Sunday, which clinched the AFC North for Cincinnati. Along with beating the Browns and Ravens, the Steelers will need the Colts to lose to the Jaguars in Week 18 to make the playoffs, as the Chargers beat the Broncos. Their chances are very slim, as even if they win their next two games, the Colts falling to the Jaguars is extremely unlikely.
The fact that the Steelers are even 7-7-1 is shocking when you look at the stats. First of all, the Steelers get dominated on both sides of the scrimmage, as they rank last in the league in run defense, allowing 142.7 yards per game. They rank 29th in rushing, averaging 87.6 yards per game. The Steelers have allowed at least 100 yards rushing in eight straight games.
The Steelers also start games extremely slow. They've scored 101 points this entire year in the first half of play. Only the Giants (97 points) have scored fewer points before halftime. In addition, the Steelers haven't scored a touchdown in the first half in five straight games, which hasn't happened since 1940.
The Steelers are tied for 14th in the league in the turnover differential stat, as they're -1 with 17 takeaways and 18 giveaways.
The stat that stands out the most, however, is their point differential. The Steelers are -70 this year, 301-371. It's their worst point differential margin since 1988 when they were -85, 336-421. The Steelers went 5-11 in 1988.
The fact that Mike Tomlin has led the Steelers to seven wins is astonishing. They're probably two games better than what they're supposed to be. The worst point differential under Tomlin before this season was -14 in 2019. And that was with Devlin "Duck" Hodges and Mason Rudolph at quarterback. The Steelers' last losing season was 2003, and they were -27 that year.