(Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
The Steelers usually excel in December football, but they haven't been unleashing hell this December, and they are on the verge of a collapse in the final month of the regular season for the third consecutive season.
The Steelers won their first game in December this year against a depleted Baltimore Ravens' roster due to a COVID-19 outbreak in an ugly 19-14 win. The game got postponed three times and should have been a November game. After starting the season 11-0, the Steelers have dropped their last games to the Washington Football Team, Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals.
The Steelers haven't scored at least 20 points in their last four games, and the defense hasn't been making the splash plays like they were earlier in the season. The defense hasn't forced a turnover in two of their three losses and they had just two sacks against the Bengals after recording just one sack against the Bills the week prior.
In 2018, the Steelers were 6-2-1 and faltered down the stretch losing two of their final four games by a combined 16 points. Three of those losses were in December. Last year, the Steelers were 6-5 heading into the final month of the regular season, winning their first two games, and Duck mania was running wild. However, the Steelers lost their last three games of the season and scored just 10 points in each game.
The Steelers have two games left this season against two playoff-caliber teams -- the 10-4 Indianapolis Colts and 10-4 Cleveland Browns. The Steelers still have a chance to turn things around, but the odds look bleak after losing to a hapless Bengals team that was formally 2-10-1.
In 2009, Mike Tomlin infamously said the Steelers were going to "unleash hell in December" after three straight losses only to lose to the 3-8 Oakland Raiders and 1-11 Cleveland Browns in back-to-back weeks. The Steelers won their final three games of the season to finish 9-7, but it wasn't enough to make the playoffs.
If the Steelers lose their next two games against the Colts and Browns, along with losing in the wild-card round of the playoffs, the Steelers will have lost their final six games after starting the season 11-0. It would be an epic collapse and prove that the Steelers were, in fact, the worst 11-0 team in the history of the NFL.