Well, we are two weeks into this NFL season and the Pittsburgh Steelers are doing what they do best: giving us heart attacks at the end of games.
Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos started with a lot of optimism, with the Broncos having a lot of big stars missing from their line-up. When Denver’s starting quarterback Drew Lock went down with a shoulder injury and was out for the rest of the game, I, along with everybody else on Twitter, decided it was going to be a blow-out in favor of Pittsburgh — but, that was not the case.
With a strong outing from Ben Roethlisberger and the entire offense, the one weak spot was the defensive secondary. Everything seemed to be going right until the Steelers decided to let Jeff Driskel look like a bona fide stud at quarterback, torching Pittsburgh for numerous 10+ yard plays. The Steelers’ defensive line was as amazing as it was last week, putting up seven sacks throughout the entire day, with 2.5 sacks from T.J. Watt.
Even with the secondary not putting out a stellar performance, the Steelers were in the driver’s seat for most of this game — but that all was unhinged when Benny Snell fumbled, giving possession to Denver. With that turnover and the secondary getting scorched, it made for a terrible combination for the Steelers.
It’s nice that the Steelers are winning games while they’re still figuring everything out in this young season, but it’s too early for me to be having these heart attacks.
Of the few criticisms that I had last week, only one of them has been addressed: the special teams unit did what they had to do this week, getting a long punt return that was, unfortunately, erased by an illegal block in the back. Correcting the special teams was a big part of making this team an all-around elite team.
The secondary is still needing work from last week’s game, especially since they let a backup quarterback look like Tom Brady. All it takes to make this defense big-time elite, is to tighten up in the secondary, but we are only two games into a season that had no preseason, so it is understood a little bit.
The criticism of ball security from last week’s game still stays true to this week’s game. Ben Roethlisberger did great today, and his only mistake was throwing an interception that seemed forced. More importantly for the second week in a row Benny Snell decided to cough up a fumble at a very important time in the game. Last week, he got bailed out by JuJu Smith-Schuster; this week, he gave the ball to the opposing team with great field position. Benny Snell will be a great running back, but he has some things to work on still before he takes over the starting duties for any football team.
This entire game allowed me to see that the offense is clicking more than ever, along with tightening up the special teams and getting points off the special teams is very important. Let’s just hope they tighten up the secondary and allow that defense to be as elite as we all know it can be, and ball security becomes a number-one priority. This young season is showing a lot of Achilles heels for numerous football teams; let’s just be grateful the Steelers don’t have as many as other teams.
Next week, look for Pittsburgh to tighten up the secondary and play lock-down defense, along with making ball security a main priority in practice this week.
(Featured Image Credit: Steelers.com)