The Pittsburgh Steelers have only four games to play for the 2021 season. Should we anticipate the playoffs or prepare for the future?
I know what the ultimate goal of the NFL is: to win the Super Bowl. While some would say teams should sell their futures for a playoff chance every year, others think it’s in the team’s best interest to “seek out” for a top pick.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are in a very interesting situation this year. Almost all statistics and advanced metrics point to this being roughly the 23rd best team in the NFL this year. In addition to their embarrassing performances of late, FiveThirtyEight currently gives Mike Tomlin’s side just a 10% chance of qualifying for the playoffs this year – a number that is sure to drop to next to nothing if the Steelers lose. against the Titans this week.
The idea of ”tanking” in the NFL is always a controversial topic, especially when it comes to a prestigious organization like the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, this team is in bad shape, and believing that this current unit is capable of winning four straight playoff games to become Super Bowl champions seems almost silly.
For this reason, should fans be hoping for Pittsburgh to make its way to the playoffs this year or should they aim for a high draft pick in 2022?
How should Steelers fans take root?
I can see both sides of the fence here. For one thing, I’m never able to actively root myself against the Steelers, especially when a game is underway. While I know this team is lacking in talent in far too many positions, we still want Pittsburgh to play well.
However, I am not oblivious to their current state. That list seems pretty rough and the Steelers have missed out on the elite draft capital in far too many drafts as they usually pick late.
That’s not always the case, in 2019 Kevin Colbert moved up to 10th overall to select Devin Bush – a choice fans clearly regret at this point. Thankfully, Bush’s mediocre play is truly an exception to what we’ve seen when the Steelers pick early. Outside of Bush, Pittsburgh is a perfect 4-of-4 when selecting in the first half of the first round over the past two decades – selecting Troy Polamalu (16th), Ben Roethlisberger (11th), Lawrence Timmons (15th) and Ryan Shazier (15), via Pro Football Reference.
Much of the problem the Steelers have had for most of the past decade is that they’ve missed the opportunity to write key, top-notch outlook that you can’t miss. In other words – just using last year’s draft class as an example – it’s impossible for Pittsburgh to land players like Ja’Marr Chase, Penei Sewell, Rashawn Slater or Micah Parsons without giving up home for. climb high enough in the draft.
I would never suggest that anyone actively root out against the Steelers. However, given the state of this team, I think we all know deep down it’s more important to have elite draft capital than playoff hope and prayer – especially when every statistic suggests Pittsburgh doesn’t. deserve to do it this year.