HOUSTON — The Steelers felt everything from the beginning of the season to now collapse within them in a smothering defeat by the Houston Texans. Despite two wins against the Browns and Raiders, Pittsburgh has much to think about if they want to turn the season around with the Ravens coming to Acrisure Stadium next week. Head coach Mike Tomlin was asked about his willingness to make changes following the 30-6 loss. He says it’s not a question; changes will come quickly.
“Hell yeah, we’ve got to make some changes, man,” Tomlin said following the loss. “That was an ugly product we put out there today. We’re not going to do the same things and hope for a different outcome. What those changes are, we’ll put together a plan in preparation this week.”
Tomlin was not pushed further on what those changes would be. It could end up being personnel-based. But the likely outcome is that the changes will be schematic based on how the Steelers decide to play their offensive and defensive personnel. There could be some changes to personnel, such as elevating promising young talent to more prominent roles. But right now, all of that change is hard to comprehend, not just because of the struggles at large with the team but the injuries the team suffered.
Defensive end DeMarvin Leal suffered a concussion, tight end Pat Freiermuth is dealing with a hamstring injury, left tackle Dan Moore Jr. has a knee injury, and quarterback Kenny Pickett is out with a knee injury. All those injuries have added to a disastrous day for the Steelers in Houston as the Texans have blown them out. Despite winning two straight games before the loss, Pittsburgh’s season remains as much of a question as any in the NFL.
Tomlin has turned battered ships around before, but the group looks like a bad team as currently constructed. They must change the scheme and personnel and perhaps even go as far as coaches. As it stands, the product Pittsburgh has is a losing one, and their method for rebounding heading into a massive divisional matchup has to include wide-sweeping, meaningful change.
Alan Saunders contributed reporting from Houston.