Steel Curtain Network: A Pittsburgh Steelers podcast

Steelers Burning Question: Do style points really matter?

We’ve all heard Mike Tomlin use a million quotes to say the same thing…

“Style points don’t matter.”

Everyone understands what he means. How the Steelers gain at least one more point than the opposition and exit the game with a ‘W’ is all that truly matters. And Tomlin’s right in this regard, but is there more to it than that?

Yes, in it’s purest form this is all that truly matters with the Steelers, or any other NFL team for that matter. Win the football game and move on, but I can’t help but believe there are times when style points do matter.

Are there games where nothing is going your way, things just look off and you find a way to scrape out  win? Yes, those games exist more than we all know. Those are the games where you think back on the game, all that went wrong, and you realize how fortunate your favorite team is to have garnered a victory.

Just look back at the Steelers 2020 season. 11 straight wins was amazing, but there was a reason why those teams got absolutely no respect from the national media. In Power Rankings, which mean absolutely nothing but give you an idea as to how the national media view your team, the Steelers, the lone undefeated team, were ranked around 4th or 5th every week. When the winning streak ended, they plummeted.

Winning an “ugly” game or two is one thing, making it a habit is a sign of bad football being played.

This brings us full circle to the 2023 Steelers who are preparing to kick their season off against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday in Week 1 at Acrisure Stadium. If the Steelers find a way, no matter how ugly, against a very good 49ers team to win, there won’t be many complaints from the fan base. However, if they do so against the Houston Texans in Week 4 on the road, a team most would expect a more lop-sided effort, does it matter then?

To me, it does.

I can never get the thought of the 2020 team out of my brain. Yes, they were winning, but even as I said on numerous podcasts, “Style points don’t matter!” there was a part of me deep down inside which knew it did. How the Steelers were winning games wasn’t sustainable, and I was left with an ongoing feeling of waiting for the other shoe to finally drop. And it eventually did.

With all that said, what do you think? Do style points matter? I talked about this in-depth on my Wednesday “Let’s Ride” podcast, which can be heard in the player below. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to SCN for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the 49ers this Sunday.

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