The 2022 season didn't go exactly as planned for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but there was still quite a silver lining thanks to Sunday's 28-14 victory over the Cleveland Browns.
They finished with a 9-8 record, meaning head coach Mike Tomlin has never posted a losing season in his 16 years at the helm. This year is among his most impressive efforts, as the team started 2-6 on the campaign and went with a combination of Kenny Pickett and Mitch Trubisky under center in the first season after Ben Roethlisberger's retirement.
Social media has plenty of praise for the coach:
Emmanuel Acho @EmmanuelAcho
Mike Tomlin is incredible. He has not had a losing season in 16 straight years. It's one of the most astonishing feats.<br><br>In a division of QB's named Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow, & Deshaun Watson. Tomlin went 9-8 with Mitch Trubisky and rookie Kenny Pickett.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Steelers?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Steelers</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HereWeGo?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HereWeGo</a>
FINAL: Another winning season for <a href="https://twitter.com/CoachTomlin?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CoachTomlin</a> and the <a href="https://twitter.com/steelers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@steelers</a>! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CLEvsPIT?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CLEvsPIT</a> <a href="https://t.co/wamgkzGdYM">pic.twitter.com/wamgkzGdYM</a>
NFL GameDay @NFLGameDay
The futures bright, looks like the <a href="https://twitter.com/steelers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@steelers</a> made the right pick(ett/ens) 😏<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CLEvsPIT?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CLEvsPIT</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HereWeGo?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HereWeGo</a> <a href="https://t.co/TeXL2GHeUo">pic.twitter.com/TeXL2GHeUo</a>
Pittsburgh went 7-2 in its final nine games and would have had the chance to carry that momentum into the playoffs if the New York Jets defeated the Miami Dolphins. However, Miami escaped with an 11-6 win without scoring a single touchdown and is in the playoffs as a result.
It seemed as if the Steelers were going to get the results they needed with New York and Miami locked in a battle and the Buffalo Bills defeating the New England Patriots, but their luck eventually ran out as the Dolphins prevailed.
They did what they could with a 28-14 victory over the rival Browns.
The defense intercepted Deshaun Watson twice, Pickett threw for 195 yards and a touchdown, and Najee Harris accounted for 84 yards and a score on the ground. Throw in the defense's seven sacks in a dominant performance, and it was an impressive all-around showing for the victors.
Alas, attention now turns to next season when the Steelers will look to make a jump with Pickett's development and challenge in the AFC North.
If history is any indication, they surely will.