The Pittsburgh Steelers have now gone seven straight seasons without claiming a playoff victory. The last time that the Steelers advanced a round in the playoffs came against the Alex Smith-led Kansas City Chiefs on Jan. 15, 2017. In that Divisional round game, Chris Boswell set the NFL playoff record with six made field goals as he scored all of the Steelers’ points that day.
Since then, the Steelers have lost five straight playoff games by an average of 13.6 points, almost a two-touchdown difference. The embarrassing fashions that they have lost in is not even the worst trend to arise from the losing streak as the Steelers’ defense has allowed 202 points scored in that same span, which is an NFL record.
In Art Rooney’s end-of-season press conference, the team’s president stated that the current trend of one-and-done’s in the playoffs needs to end quickly.
“Yeah, I think there’s an urgency. I think everybody, myself, Mike, guys that have been on the team for a while, T.J., Cam, everybody, we’ve had enough of this,” Rooney said. “It’s time to get some wins. It’s time to take these next steps. So, yeah, I think there’s some urgency here, for sure.”
While the postseason struggles continued this past season when they fell to the Buffalo Bills by 14 points in the Wild Card round, the team did begin to change the ways that they conduct business. The firing of Matt Canada was the first time that the team changed coordinators midseason. General manager Omar Khan has been aggressive in trades and free agency. These things are all a breath of fresh air for the Steelers but the success has not followed, at least not yet.
Rooney acknowledged that this past season brought many things to be optimistic about but he did not hide from the fact that a 10-win season and a playoff birth were simply not good enough for their standards.
The hiring of Arthur Smith as offensive coordinator also fits that urgency. Smith was hired in part because the team feels that he can have success with the players that they have on their roster right now, and that they won’t need to make the kind of wholesale changes to their roster that would take years in order to implement his system.
“We need to find ways to make sure we’re better next season,” Rooney added. “That’s what we’re about at this point.”