The Steelers are sitting at 1-2 after three weeks of football and the Steeler Nation is on edge. Troy Polamalu has been out and may not play for another couple weeks, but all is not lost in Pittsburgh. They have some tough games ahead, but if they tighten things up and get the running game established, Pittsburgh will be okay. What does Pittsburgh need to do to resurrect the season? I’ll explain.
The Steelers may have a little Super Bowl hangover right now and they were a coin flip away from possibly being 0-3. They miss Polamalu, but this team reminds me of the Colts Super Bowl season when Bob Sanders went down early that year. They were below .500 after five games, but once Sanders came back, they got their swagger back. Here are some things that the Steelers need to do.
The Steelers need to stay with the running game and work the swing passes to Willie Parker and Rashard Mendenhall. The first two games of the year, their running back corps was shutdown and the Steelers didn’t stick with them. The Titans and Bears both have great run defense, but they didn’t rely on the swing pass to make their outside linebackers cheat to the outside and establish the run in-between the tackles. They did use Parker well against the Bengals, but they still couldn’t win the game. I think Cincinnati has a better defense, thanks to the last two draft classes and focusing their picks on linebacker.
They must protect Roethlisberger better. The Steelers offensive line is in a state of flux, trying to get young players to mix their veterans. You will not change Big Ben’s tendency to hold the ball too long and I’m not sure that you will want. He has made some big plays when he has held the ball too long, but he needs time to get the ball to his receivers. Hines Ward isn’t what he used to be and Santonio Holmes isn’t as good as Ward in his prime. Nate Washington was nice to have when he was on the team, but the team still haven’t found a consistent #3 receiver.
San Diego comes to town this week and Norv Turner is easy to out-coach. I believe Coach Tomlin is a better coach, but Steelers have playmakers on both sides of the ball. It is still unknown if Polamalu will be ready to play, I’m guess that he will not, so that will hurt. LaDanian Tomlinson is banged up and Darren Sproles is not LT, but Phillip Rivers could be able to throw against the Steelers secondary. It will be a tough game, but Steelers fans needs to relax. If they lose against San Diego, the season is still not over. They have games against Detroit and Cleveland, they will end up 3-3 when they face Minnesota before their bye week. I say that Pittsburgh will be in great position to win a wild-card spot or you never know, Baltimore could implode.
This post means a lot because I really don’t like the Steelers, but I like when they are good. The Colts have lost some big playoffs games against Pittsburgh in the past and I do hold grudges. I live in Columbus, OH now and it’s bad enough that I get every Browns and Bengals games on television on Sundays. If the Steelers were bad, I couldn’t stomach one more bad AFC North game. I still have to watch two Browns/Bengals games a year, I need to move out of this state.