2017 South Side Questions: Where Did You Think Steelers Would Be At The Bye?

The journey toward the Super Bowl is now well under way with the Pittsburgh Steelers back practicing at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, still informally referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility. With the regular season standing in their way on the path to a Lombardi, there will be questions for them to answer along the way.

We have asked and answered a lot of questions during the preseason and through training camp, but much of the answer-seeking ends in the regular season, and teams simply have to make do with what they have available to them. Still, there will always be questions for us.

You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the regular season and beyond as they develop, looking for the answers as we evaluate the makeup of the Steelers on their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.

Question: Hindsight game – where did you feel the Steelers are likely to be by midseason?

The Steelers have for the first time in six years reached the midpoint of the regular season calendar with a .750 winning percentage, racking up wins in each of their last three contests to hit their dead-center bye week with a 6-2 record.

Is that where you expected them to be? Did you expect them to be worse than that? better? And how much stock do you put into the ‘quality’ of their 6-2 record? This is all personal interpretation here.

The Steelers opened the season with the Browns on the road, followed by the Vikings at home, the Bears on the road, the Ravens on the road, the Jaguars at home, the Chiefs on the road, the Bengals at home, and finally, the Lions on the road.

That’s five road games, in Cleveland, Chicago, Baltimore, Kansas City, and Detroit, and three games at home hosting the Vikings, Jaguars, and Bengals.

I didn’t actually fill out any kind of preseason prediction of how I felt the Steelers would do in each game, but looking back, I think this is about where I expected they would be, or perhaps 5-3, and that would have gotten here via a slightly different path.

I didn’t think they would win in Kansas City again. I figured Sam Bradford would play and beat them at Heinz Field. I thought they could have lost in Detroit. And I thought they should have beaten the Bears and the Jaguars. So that still shakes out to a record of 5-3 or 6-2, not far from where they ended up.

How do I feel about their record versus where I thought they would be? I’m not really sure. I think I ultimately fall back to situational football. The Steelers need to turn the page offensively and convert more in the red zone and on third down. The defense needs to build off this most recent performance, situationally, while plugging some of the leaks they had last night.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • MP

    5 or 6 wins is where we’d expect them to be. They have surprised on the road, especially at Arrowhead, but the poor situational FB is killing all of the fun. I wish I could live in alternative universe with a different OC — just to take some other play-calling for a test spin. This arm-chair coach’s damn agenda includes being sick of questioning the damn play-calling.

  • Lil Smitty

    I was actually expecting a 5-3 record. I was expecting them to start out 2-2 in the first 4. One more loss, either KC or to Cincinnati.
    Overall, I am happy with the record. They usually start slow and have struggled on the road.
    I am hoping they improve over the break for even a better record, possibly 13-3. Hopefully with a loss to the Browns in a meaningless game.

  • FATCAT716

    I expected 6wins at this point but thought the loses would be in Baltimore & Detroit. Felt like KC would be good & we play up in those games. But looking at it now we should be undefeated

  • WORST 6-2 TEAM IN NFL HISTORY!!!!!

  • The Tony

    Jeez man don’t watch then if you can’t enjoy a win

  • The Tony

    Another note to remember is that both The Bengals and The Lions were coming off of their bye weeks with more rest and preparation time against the Steelers. Both were Steelers victories.

  • Sarcasim, bro. Poking fun at the general populous of this community who for some reason hates this team and everything about it…

  • The Tony

    Haha I got you. Sorry about that, you know how many people will criticize a Steelers victory.

  • Hence the first comment, LOL!!!

  • srdan

    Good point. And we have a good schedule with lots of teams coming to the North Side in stead of us traveling. Should be interesting.

  • KansasSteeler

    I was also thinking/hoping for 6-2 and 2 losses would be KC and Ratbirds. Actually thought the play calling was solid last night overall, considering a dropped TD from Rogers (Last week was MacDonald) and the slight overthrow to Hey Bey. Shovel pass to Ju Ju was genius to close it out.

  • pittfan

    Okay, Pollyanna here, but, I expected to see this team in the Super Bowl and still do. I believed we would be in the hunt for the #1 seed in AFC and we are! 1/2 way through, this is right where I thought they’d be. The D is over performing while O is under performing to my expectations. As the season moves along the pieces on O are coming together and we have been a very good second half team. 7-1 to end the seaon including a win over everyone’s nightmare in week 15!

  • Reginald Pippin

    I expected the Steelers to be 8-0 before the season started (This was before they signed Joe Haden). After last night’s win and thinking about how they managed to lose to the Bears and Jaguars, they should be 8-0

  • CountryClub

    I thought they’d be 6-2. And, after watching the games, they should be 7-1 (should have won in Chicago). But, I’ll take the 6-2 and run.

  • johnnypudding

    Agree on the shovel pass and overall offensive playcalling…have to give credit to haley

  • pcantidote

    6-2, but with the losses at KC and Detroit.

  • pcantidote

    When the team is 6-2 and holds the 1 seed in the AFC, then it is time to check whether all of your arm chair QBing is relevant.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I am right with you on this. 6-2 was the top end of the spectrum while 4-4 the low end. Tomlin rarely has this team ready in the start of the season and although we are 6-2 there has been a lot of dropped passes, missed coverages, ect. There will always be mistakes but it is still widespread but happy with where we sit.

  • Justin Warrenfeltz

    When I did my W-L prediction after the preseason, I had Pittsburgh at 6-2 with losses to Baltimore and Kansas City heading into the bye. FWIW, I have them 6-2 over the final 8 as well.

  • Jeff Dudash

    I thought they’d be 7-1 … losing to either the Ravens or Chiefs on the road.

  • Jeff Dudash

    I agree that I thought the playcalling was very good last night … with the exception of the shovel pass to close it (and generally the last drive). Yes, it worked, but … geesh…shotgun on 3rd and 1 with the best RB in the league? Sometimes I worry that we’re outsmarting ourselves. Also, they ran shotgun passes on 2nd and 3rd down (with the 3rd down pass getting bailed out by the pass interference). I don’t mind them throwing in that situation, but with Detroit expecting a run, why not utilize play action? The incomplete on 2nd down gave Detroit a free timeout, and if we don’t get that PI call, we would have left Detroit with two timeouts and a lot of time on the clock.

  • Bradshaw

    honestly, i thought every game in the first half of the schedule was a win. the three that were borderline were the bears, ravens, and chiefs. (john fox has tomlin’s number. steelers have chiefs number. ravens are always tough.) currently, the record is better than the team and the team has to live up to record in the second half.

    thoughts on second half…

    IT ALL COMES DOWN TO BEN… WILL HE BE CONSISTENT/ACCURATE???

    colts – we have their number
    titans – they play us tough (trap)
    packers – without rogers, should be a win
    bengals – better than i thought they’d be, next game will be harder to win
    ravens – they’ll be better than last game but so should steelers
    patriots – after ravens… oh boy!
    texans – accurate ben better show up
    browns – bye

  • SteelersGeek4Lyfe

    I thought they’d be 7-0.

  • Cwallace

    I actually had them going 7-1 and i figured they would lose to either the jags or ravens being i knew both games were back to back and they both have history of giving us fits.

  • MP

    And yet one more reason why I will cancel my Disqus account. I’m clearly not made for social media, if not sarcasm.

  • NinjaMountie

    I was another one at 7-1. I only gave them one loss because I thought they’d give one away. They gave two away instead.
    In the NFL a win is a win. In some ways I’m more impressed with them clawing their way to this 6-2 record than I would be if they would have had an easy 7-1 record. If they can get their offense even remotely figured out they have a better shot at the SB than most.

  • pittfan

    What do you see the final tally being? I’m think 13-1, 12-4 that the WORST. But I wouldn’t put it past them to run the table. Especially if they can get Martay to stfu and get into the mix.

  • Crashcrash777

    But we played 8 games O.o

  • Amen!

  • That Titan’s game will come with some great story lines as it will be LeBeau’s first time back to Heinz since “retiring.” He’ll know our every weakness and when and where to exploit them. On the flip side, Ben should be familiar going against his defense even if the players are different.

    It is also a Thursday night game, so those story lines will be the center focus of the game.

    It will be a good one for sure!

  • NinjaMountie

    I have them at 12-4 as the best right now with the worst being 10-6. I’ll be happy to be surprised by them, though.

  • SteelersGeek4Lyfe

    Lol, sorry… I need to lay off the glue. I meant 8-0. I expected them to go 14-2 or 13-3 on the season, winning homefield advantage, and having a 50/50 shot at the Pats in the AFC Championship game, and a 50/50 shot at the Packers in the Super Bowl (before Rodgers went down).

  • SteelersGeek4Lyfe

    Now I think the Jags could actually make some noise. They really remind me of the 2007 Giants, with an inconsistent qb, power run game, and a great defense.

  • pittfan

    10-6? Bro, that means gong 4-4 the rest of the way. I’d be suicidal if that happened!
    BTW, where are all the 4-4 first half the the season guys in this thread? We both know from the game threads there are a few here claiming this is an 8-8 team. Where are they? (crickets) Just where they’ll be at the end of the season!

  • Crashcrash777

    Yeah the Jags have been an interesting surprise.