Should Steelers Fans be Concerned?

Photo Credit:

Jake Rebel and Tyler Cote

After back to back losses, the Pittsburgh Steelers have fallen to a record of 11-2. Even though this record still keeps them atop the always competitive division that is the AFC North, major concern has started to rise. With losses to the Washington Football Team and the Buffalo Bills, the Steelers have lost their once undefeated reign and 1 seed in the AFC. More crucial than ever, the 1 seed comes as the only team to receive a bye, adding to its value. But the real question is… should Steelers fans be concerned? 


Steelers fans should be concerned: By Jake Rebel

Back to back losses have begun to raise major concern, and for good reason. Any parts of the once unstoppable team have seemed to start to crumble. With lack of depth on the offensive line, the Steelers are now ranked 31st in rush yards per game, giving off that the offense seems to be just a fraction of what it was just 4 weeks ago. Long time quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has begun to show signs of injury and fatigue, which seemed to be expected this late in his career.  A shaky offensive game plan has also come into question as of late, with inexperienced Offensive Coordinator Randy Fichtner being under fire. Going off of that, pass catching has also seemed to become a major concern, with starting Wide Receiver Diontae Johnson and starting Tight End Eric Ebron both having multiple drops in their last 2 games, which both coincidentally were losses. Injuries as a whole have begun to hit the Pittsburgh defense hard, 5 starters have now been sidelined due to injuries and/or COVID-19 protocols, causing for young, inexperienced guys to have to step up in big games. With just 3 more games left in the season, the Steelers fortunately still sit atop the division. But the division race has now tightened… The Steelers rank 11th in overall strength of schedule left , the 2nd place Browns rank 23rd, obviously giving the Cleveland fans hope. Thankfully the Steelers have clinched a playoff berth, but there is much more football to be played. Going into next week against the Cincinnati Bengals, Steelers nation hopes the team can revert back to their old ways and show the dominance from the beginning of the season.


Steelers Fans Should not be Worried: by Tyler Cote 

After the consecutive losses the Steelers are starting to gain control of their offense versus the Bills, but they also struggled to maintain possession of the football leading to the defense being on the field way too often. Even though it seemed bad, the offense showed glimpses of being a real threat. The lack of the deep throwing offense is because of the lack of protection by the offensive line leading to a quick passing attack. Looking at the front 7 of both teams that have beaten the Steelers and the last team they have beaten, the Football Team, Bills and Ravens, and all three have quick linebackers with pass rushers that tend to be able to play the run well. When the Steelers receivers catch the ball and create yards after the catch it is almost an extension of the run game and allows the linemen and receivers to block and create yards. Look at the offensive line and the injuries they have faced throughout the season… Against the Bills, the Steelers got down to 5 offensive linemen available, and in the past they have been known to put in an extra linemen and pound the ball up the middle. But this year being limited has allowed Ben and the whole offensive line time to gain blocks for short periods of time and stay off the injured list. The defense is fine; Highsmith has stepped into Dupree’s role relatively well and has seemed to make plays when asked upon. The secondary has played well, but unfortunately is on the field way too often causing slip ups against elite receivers like Stefon Diggs. I believe the Steelers are in a good spot; they’ve clinched a playoff berth and are going up against the Bengals without their best player in Joe Burrow. I think this is a chance to bounce back, get on the right path ,and even show people what they are capable of moving forward.