It’s been awhile since the Pittsburgh Steelers started a season 0-2 – 11 years to be exact. Many people thought this would be the case, as the team is clearly in a state of transition following the loss of several key players from last year’s squad. But this is still a team only three years removed from playing in the Super Bowl and a franchise that has an extremely rich history. Therefore, there will also be big expectations in Pittsburgh.
Thus far, the Steelers just haven’t been able to find an identity. They’ve been outplayed in nearly every facet of the game through two weeks. The two most concerning areas, though, are the rushing game and the pass-rush. To date, Pittsburgh has only amassed 75 rushing yards and tallied one sack. Not exactly Steeler-like numbers.
The good news coming into week three is that they’ll be returning home to Heinz Field. The bad news is that the 2-0 Chicago Bears will also be there. The Bears have pulled out two tough contests against playoff teams from a season ago and looked pretty good while doing it. However, this will be their first road test of the season.
There have been lots of rumors coming out of Pittsburgh this week that offensive coordinator Todd Haley and wide receiver Antonio Brown aren’t on the same page. The two were said to have had a spat on the sidelines this past Monday, but Haley has since come out and said that nothing ever happened. Steelers’ fans are hoping that’s the case, because the team needs Brown to have a huge day against the ball-hawking Chicago defense.
As for the all important question of whether this is a must-win game for Pittsburgh? I say absolutely it is. This team cannot afford to go 0-3. There’s just not not enough talent on the roster to overcome such a deficit. Even if they are able to pull out a win, things won’t get any easier in week four. It’s against the Minnesota Vikings, which makes it a winnable game. However, it will be contested across the pond in London. The morale on that plane ride will be much higher if the Steelers can crawl their way to 1-2.