Pittsburgh Steelers: 5 Things We Learned in Week 3
5 Things We Learned in Week 3
For the third week in a row, the Pittsburgh Steelers have failed to fix the problems that have kept them from tasting victory in the 2013 regular season. In the Week 3 loss to the Chicago Bears, the Steelers (0-3) showed very little improvement but deemed to be not good enough to come away with a win.
Pittsburgh now finds themselves in sole possession of last place in the AFC North and in the bad company with five other teams in the league that are winless.
As mentioned before, the Steelers did play a bit better in Week 3 compared to their previous two games. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger passed for over 400 yards and two touchdowns. Unfortunately, the four turnovers he committed made his gaudy numbers irrelevant. Roethlisberger’s miscues were probably due to him trying to do too much to help his struggling team get on track for the season. What made matters worse was that two of Big Ben’s four turnovers were returned for defensive touchdowns.
Defensively, the unit held Chicago’s passing and running games to modest numbers on the stats sheet and for a moment had them within striking distance. However, the Steelers couldn’t come up with the big plays when it mattered most.
The team’s continued struggles on both sides of the ball and the difficulty of coping with injuries are all things that we have learned about this team in the early part of the season. After seeing Pittsburgh lose their third game in a row, there are some new things that have been discovered by Steeler Nation. Let’s take a look and see what the top five things are.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google+
Antonio Brown Finally Proved That He is Team’s No. 1 Receiver
Antonio Brown’s request for getting more balls thrown to him seemed to work in his favor this past Sunday. Brown had nine catches for 196 yards (a career high) and two touchdowns. That performance might have ended any speculation that anyone has had about his ability to be a No. 1 receiver for the Steelers in this offense.
Offense Has To Find a Way to Get Started Quickly
In the 12 quarters of football the Steelers have played thus far this season, they have only held the lead against opponents twice. In Week 1, Pittsburgh had a 2-0 lead early in the first quarter before eventually losing 16-9, and in Week 2 the Steelers could only hold a 3-0 lead over the Cincinnati Bengals for a short amount of time. This past Sunday night, Pittsburgh trailed the entire game. The Steelers’ offense has struggled mightily to get the ball rolling on offense early in games and has found itself playing catch-up. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley needs to find a way to get the offense out of the starting blocks much quicker.
Offensive Line Misses Maurkice Pouncey
Against the Bears, the interior of the offensive line showed their vulnerability by surrendering three sacks to Chicago’s blitzing linebackers. It’s obvious that Maurkice Pouncey won’t be back this season, and it’s also obvious that Pittsburgh’s coaching staff needs to patch up the holes on the inside of the offensive front.
Jonathan Dwyer Should Start in Week 4
The 39 yards running back Jonathan Dwyer gained against the Bears isn’t reason enough to prove why he should be Pittsburgh’s starter in the backfield. However, of all the healthy players in the Steelers’ stable, Dwyer looked to be the most explosive of the bunch. The fourth-year veteran did have a nice 25-yard run against the Bears this past Sunday night and did show some good pass protection. Even though rookie running back Le’Veon Bell is expected to make his NFL debut in Week 4, Dwyer should get the nod.
Defense Has To Find a Way to Create Turnovers
Last season, the Steelers’ defense was statistically the best in the NFL, but that wasn’t good enough to carry the team into the postseason. Many probably didn’t realize Pittsburgh’s dominance defensively simply because they lacked takeaways. So far this season, Pittsburgh has yet to cause a turnover. The Steelers didn’t come close to matching the Bears’ five turnovers, and the inability to match an opponent’s takeaways will result in more losses.