Mike Tomlin’s legacy is on the line in 2020. He is undoubtedly one of the greatest coaches in the NFL over the last twenty years. We all know the stat by now, no losing season in fourteen years as head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He may well be the best regular season coach in Steelers history. The key word there being “regular season”. https://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/pit/index.htm
The post season has been a bit of a different story however. When Mike Tomlin took over the head coaching job in Pittsburgh, he went on quite a run. Two Super bowl appearances in four years is an incredible feat for a new head coach. At that point he had a 5-2 post season record, and if not for a ill-timed fumble would have had two Super Bowl trophies to his resume.
Since that last Super Bowl appearance things haven’t gone quite as well in the post season. The Steelers have managed only three wins in the last ten years during that time. In fact, Pittsburgh has only managed one trip to the AFC Championship since 2010. The whispers of Tomlin benefiting early on from Bill Cowher’s players and influence have once again begun creeping in once again.
So here we are in 2020, and the Steelers sit at 11-2. A seventh AFC North title in the Tomlin era is almost a sure thing with three games remaining. What happens from here on out will be the difference from Mike Tomlin being a very good coach, or one of the greatest of all time. Reality is, Tomlin will never get a better chance to win a Super Bowl than this season with the Pittsburgh Steelers. We have written time and again that the Steelers put everything they had into the 2020 season, at the expense of the future. Steelers have a one year window left to win a Super Bowl with Ben Roethlisberger
Making a substantial playoff run will not be easy however. Tomlin has some major issues to overcome before the post season begins. First and foremost, this offense needs to be figured out. The regression of this unit over the last few weeks has been astonishing. They are simply unable to run the ball whatsoever. Making matters worse, teams have caught on to the Steelers quick passing game. Ben Roethlisberger is seeing a lot more coverage in the short areas of the field, forcing him to adjust. That adjustment has yet to happen, and the results are as bad as they’ve ever been for him. The injuries on defense are beginning to take there toll as well. There still is enough left on that side of the ball provided the team doesn’t lose anymore key players.
If Mike Tomlin can make another Super Bowl run with this team, his legacy would jump to new level. Winning that elusive second championship will take him from very good coach, to a great one. On the other hand, another playoff flame out will leave people wondering. It has been ten years since Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers have had a signature win in the post season. If it doesn’t happen in 2020, it will never happen again for this coach and this franchise.