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Despite the fact that the Pittsburgh Steelers missed the postseason for the first time in three years, good news for longtime head coach Mike Tomlin is that he can once again hang his hat on the fact that he led his team to a winning season at 9-8 overall while overcoming a poor start that was marred with injury woes.
But what are the chances that Tomlin is able to get the Steelers back to the postseason this winter? If this prediction from ESPN is any indication, the chances aren't exactly in the bag. Bill Barnwell is predicting that the Steelers are going to continue taking a step back, and Tomlin's first losing season as head coach.
“There’s a definite tier gap in confidence between the first three teams, and the Steelers are in fourth for me. There are definite paths to them winning 10 games, especially if Pickett takes a second-year leap,” Barnwell writes regarding the Steelers and a potential decline for ESPN.com. “If the defense loses one of the big three, the team struggles to stay as healthy as it did and/or the offense stops protecting the ball, I’m not sure we can count on the Steelers to keep Tomlin’s streak going into season 17.”
If the Steelers once again miss the postseason, does this mean that Tomlin's job could potentially be in danger? Needless to say, the team must avoid the disastrous start that plagued them last season and made their late season surge too late to qualify.