Pittsburgh’s 8-8 finish was its worst under Tomlin, but it very easily could have been better if it were able to have a stronger finish in a few more games. The Steelers lost five of their eight games by only three points.
If the Steelers were able to pull out a couple of those games, they would be entering the playoffs this upcoming weekend rather than making their offseason plans.
Injuries played a major role in the Steelers' lack of success in 2012, but so did the fact that a number of their best players underachieved.
Players who played in fewer than eight games are not included on this list because they lacked enough snaps to fully contribute to the team’s success (or failure) this year. That means players such as Troy Polamalu and Rashard Mendenhall will not be included on this list.
Rookies are also not included since they need a chance to learn the game and prove themselves as quality players. It is not fair to assess players such as David DeCastro, Mike Adams or any other rookie as they are learning the game—even though they may have been expected to start as rookies.
Instead, this list will focus on veterans who were expected to contribute in big ways, but did not meet those expectations.
Here are the Steelers' five most underachieving players of the 2012 season.