T.J. Watt Sounds Off on Steelers Recent ‘Embarrassing’ Playoff Futility


The Pittsburgh Steelers haven’t won a playoff game in seven years. That fact irks Steelers edge rusher T.J. Watt.

T.J. Watt

During an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio on March 22, Watt expressed a strong disdain over the team’s 0-4 playoff record during his career.

“Obviously, didn’t go the way we wanted in the end,” Watt said of the 2023 season, via Steelers Depot’s Jeremy Pike. “This is my seventh year, this past season. To not win a playoff game is embarrassing and not how we do things in Pittsburgh.”

The seven-year playoff win drought is the longest in franchise history since the Steelers won their first postseason game in 1972.

Pittsburgh’s last playoff victory came against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC divisional round of the 2016-17 season. The following offseason, the Steelers drafted Watt in the first round. Interestingly, the Chiefs traded up for quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the same draft.

Lack of Recent Playoff Success for T.J. Watt, Steelers

Watt posted 7 sacks with 13 quarterback hits, 7 pass defenses and 1 forced fumble as a rookie to help the Steelers go 13-3 in 2017. But the team suffered an upset loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC divisional round.

Watt and the Pittsburgh defense gave up 45 points to a Blake Bortles-led Jaguars offense.

The Steelers defense didn’t fare any better in the team’s next postseason trip. Against a COVID-decimated Cleveland Browns team, who didn’t have head coach Kevin Stefanski because of COVID restrictions, the Steelers lost, 48-37 in the 2021 postseason.

Pittsburgh wasn’t very competitive in its playoff appearances during January 2022 and 2024 either. But those matchups were against superior teams on the road.

The losses to the Jaguars and Browns, though, likely still haunt a lot of Steelers players, including Watt. The Steelers were outscored 42-0 in the first quarter of those two contests.

In three playoff games, Watt has posted 8 combined tackles, including 3 tackles for loss and 1 sack. His sack came against the Chiefs in the 2022 postseason.

He also had a pass defense and a fumble recovery he returned for a touchdown versus Kansas City.

Recent Playoff Futility Fueling Steelers Offseason?

Pittsburgh’s 5-game losing streak in the postseason isn’t only on Watt’s mind. It’s been mentioned repeatedly in the media and among fans this offseason. Steelers president Art Rooney II also addressed it in his yearly offseason press briefing.

“We had enough of this,” Rooney said on January 29, via Steelers.com’s Bob Labriola. “It’s time to get some wins.

“It’s time to take these next steps. There’s some urgency there, for sure.”

That urgency could have been the main reason behind the team’s changes at quarterback. The Steelers signed veteran Russell Wilson, who won nine playoff games and a Super Bowl in nine seasons with the Seattle Seahawks.

The Steelers then traded former first-rounder Kenny Pickett to the Philadelphia Eagles and landed Justin Fields in a deal with the Chicago Bears.

Neither Wilson or Fields are under contract beyond the 2024 season. That leaves the Steelers with questions to answer behind center going forward.

But Wilson and Fields appear to offer more upside than Pickett in the short term. Watt and the Steelers organization surely hope that leads to a playoff victory this upcoming season.

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