Comeback Story Or Tragedy: How Will The 2013 Steelers Season End?

By Jeremy Hritz

The Pittsburgh Steelers are 0-4 for the first time since 1968, and the pervasive feeling is that the losing will continue. If it does, the stories that sprout from the losing squad aren’t difficult to imagine.

Following the Steelers final game this year against the Cleveland Browns on December 29th, the season could be concluded by the following synopsis:

The Steelers put a bow on their season of misery by dropping their 12th game of the season to the Browns, finishing 2013 without a divisional win. Landry Jones, who had been forced into action because of injuries earlier in the season to Ben Roethlisberger and Bruce Gradkowski, was harassed all day, being sacked six times and throwing three interceptions. Le’Veon Bell, as he has been since returning from his mid-foot sprain, was solid, but not enough for the Steelers to make a serious challenge to winning the game. Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders were visibly frustrated as Jones simply did not have the time to deliver the football. Defensively, the surrendering of big plays continued, and disappointingly, the much-heralded rookie Jarvis Jones concluded his first full season without a sack. At 4-12, heads will assuredly roll, and next year’s Steelers team could look drastically different from a personnel standpoint.

Of course this is a pessimistic view of the remaining 2013 season, but based on how the Steelers have played in their first four games, it is a brutal reality that Steelers Nation may be unwillingly facing come December 29th.

But hope springs eternal.

Imagine, just for a minute, if the 2013 version of the Steelers can turn it around and start stacking wins. And imagine the headlines at the storylines at the season’s conclusion if that does happen:

At the end of September, the Steelers were dead and buried at 0-4, and heading into their bye week, the focus was more on 2014 draft picks than it was on playoff positioning. However, after the Steelers earned their 11th victory in 12 games by defeating the Browns, the Steelers have surprisingly won the AFC North and will host a playoff game. Behind a much improved offensive line and a rejuvenated running game led by rookie Le’Veon Bell, the Steelers continued to be physical on offense and to win the time of possession battle. But no player has been more important in the team’s resurgence than NFL-MVP candidate Ben Roethlisberger, who turned in another masterful performance. And on defense, rookie outside linebacker Jarvis Jones continued to harass the quarterback, while Cortez Allen picked off two Brandon Weedon passes, including one for a score. What a difference 12 games made for the 2013 Steelers. 

4-12 and 11-5 are extremes, and more than likely at season’s end, the Steelers final record will be somewhere in between.

Though all of the evidence currently points to a continuation of suffering this season, and there are no delusions of the Steelers firing off 12 straight wins, you can never say never, as there is always the possibility for a revival.

After four discouraging weeks, how do you see the state of the Steelers come 4:00 PM on December 29th?

  • Dom

    I’m gonna take a punt on another 8-8

  • Xclewsive

    10-6/11-5 I said it and I’m sticking to it. .

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I said I thought we would be 11-5 and had us losing the first 3 games but after the Viks lose I will make it 10-6 and that is my story. 🙂

  • TJimmy

    Now that they’ve been humbled, I’m thinking that they will be Superbowl bound 🙂

    Time will tell of course

  • bonairsfavoriteson

    LOL, Hey Jeremy, I bet you actually believe there is a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. with that second scenario. I figured 5-11 after our miserable pre season, nothing has changed my mind. I knew the offense would be less than stellar, I had no idea our defense would fall apart, Oh Well! old , slow and done like the man said. We to this point have not taken the field against any all pro QB YET and our defense has pretty much sucked. Looking ahead, hard to find a team worse than us, but I do expect some improvement from the young guys, if they don’t rot on the bench.

  • Callentown

    Ha, Xclewsive was that picked BEFORE the season began? 😉

  • Callentown

    With 12 games left to play the Steelers are last in the NFL in both sacks(4) as well as turnovers (0).

    I truly do not believe we can win a game without winning the turnover battle in that game. So, I’ll suggest we somehow win half of the remaining games and go 6-10.

    Man, I can’t believe that winning 6 games in a season seems like a long shot, but it does given the circumstances.

  • stairman

    i hope they can scratch and claw out 10 wins with the remaining games, every game always seems to go down to the last possession, wins never did come easy. I really think the season will play out just like their games do, they will be in it until the end, and hope that last possesion in the last game goes in their favor. 10-6 Go steelers!

  • Chris92021

    I will go even further on the comeback story: Levi Brown played well on the left side of the Steelers’ offensive line and Le’Veon Bell rushed for three touchdowns to give him 12 for the season, leading all rookies. Steelers clinched the AFC North with the win against the Browns in front of an usually raucous Heinz Field crowd. The Steelers become the 2nd team in NFL history to begin 0-4 and make the playoffs since the 1992 San Diego Chargers. The Steelers will host the Tennessee Titans next Sunday in the AFC Wild Card game.

  • SteelerFanInMD

    After slow starts the last 2 seasons, they got things going and put together winning streaks. I think they improve things from now on and go 8-4 the rest of the season, finishing 8-8.

  • Xclewsive

    I said it in another article plus I said it before the season. The Steelers normally have these type of consecutive losses in the middle and end of seasons. This year I just think it happened a little earlier.

  • charles

    I will BELIEVE the second story line until it is impossible…

  • sean mcmartin

    As a Loyal Steelers fan Its hard to say they will lose any games. I want them to come in and destroy everyone they play..
    but plugging in back ups where starters belong has changed my outlook. Salary cap, talent , lack of motivation, whatever it is . This years squad has two bad lines.
    6-10 will tie for 4th in division.

  • Chad H

    At best we will end 6 – 10. Levi Brown is an improvement but we will still have major issues on the o-line.

  • Don

    I think the word you’re looking for is “hope”.

  • alex

    Leveon Bell will turn this offense around by making it well rounded, thus keeping us in every game with balance and less sacks and TOs…

    the team is very young, with 26 players @ 3 or less years of experience, so the kids learn fast and our multi-million dollar men must perform!

  • Xclewsive

    I see the 2013 Steelers season playing out similar to how the 2012 Lakers season played out. The Steelers will fight all year to get above .500 and make the playoffs. But in the end they exserted too much energy in the process. An they’ll fade because of the early hole they dug.

  • Gautama Om

    Unfortunately our problems run deep, especially at HC and GM.


    To forecast the future it helps to reflect on the past to note how they got into the 0-4 hole.

    The number 1 issue imo has been ball security…I think they will fix that…Heath helps out a ton, Bell looks like a difference maker…but I think the DEF is what it is…they don’t get enough push up the middle to create consistent pressure for turnovers.

    I thought it was a 10-6 team at the beginning…I held onto that into the MIN…right now 9-7 I think is where they are headed.

  • Johnny Loose

    Nope. We BELIEVE.

  • Johnny Loose

    I think we’re staring at a 12 game winning streak. Legit.

  • Riverstko

    9-7 tied for first place in afc north but will get wild card spot.