The Steelers face the Patriots on Sunday in a vital matchup with major playoff implications.
Of course, Pittsburgh’s postseason position looked much better before enduring a three-game losing streak against the Broncos, Chargers, and Raiders.
As damaging as the run of losses has been, one Steelers offensive lineman chose to look on the bright side. The defeats — debilitating as they’ve been for the team’s drive for a playoff berth — could serve as motivation heading into the game against the Patriots.
“Yeah, in that sense, acknowledging we have a bigger feat in front of us, absolutely,” Steelers guard Ramon Foster told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette. “I think what’s happened in this three-game skid has actually been good for us.”
In the losing streak, the Steelers went from 7-2-1 to 7-5-1. The team’s commanding AFC North lead over the Ravens has dwindled. But Foster believes the reality-check of those losses, including last week’s defeat to the 3-10 Raiders, will spur focus for a regular season stretch run.
“In a sense that it makes guys realize that, hell, we have to go to work,” Foster explained. “You almost have to get in training-camp mode in a sense that this is what we need to fix. We have to concentrate on what we need moving forward.”
Foster also made a direct reference to a past Patriots team, using New England’s 16-0 2007 regular season record as an example of why losing can serve as a helpful wakeup call.
“I think naturally humans can do that,” Foster noted, “and I think it can happen to teams also. Looking back on the Patriots when they went 16-0 and lost to the Giants in the Super Bowl?”
“I think having a little of that humbles you,” he concluded. “It kind of makes you focus on yourselves in a sense that you’re not as good as you think you are.”