Pittsburgh Steelers: 5 Things We Learned After Week 4
5 Things We Learned After Week 4
They say that you learn something new every day, and though Steeler Nation has watched their team fall in defeat four weeks in a row, there is still something new everyone can take away from the dismal performance of the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 4. In the NFL International Series, the Steelers traveled to London, England to face the Minnesota Vikings, only to lose by the score of 34-27.
One thing that we learned was that this is hands down the worse start to a regular season in the Mike Tomlin era. Furthermore, this is the first time since 1968 that Pittsburgh has started a season 0-4. Normally when the Steelers find themselves in rut, Tomlin finds a way to rally his troops and get things back on track quickly. For some reason that hasn’t been the case going back to last year.
The huge goose egg that sits in Pittsburgh’s win column after the first four weeks of the regular season is an eyesore for any fan of the black and gold. It also gives a painful indication that the chances of making the postseason are not so great.
Along with the negative things we have learned, there is one thing that gives a glimmer of hope. The fact that there are 12 more games ahead shows that there is a lot of time for things to turn around for the Steelers and to get from the bottom of the AFC North standings.
Here are the five things the Steelers' faithful learned after Week 4.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google+
5. O-line is Now the Only Weakness on Offense
Over the span of the Steelers’ four-game losing streak, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has put up big numbers, the backfield has seemed to have been upgraded with the addition of rookie running back Le’Veon Bell, and everyone in the receiving corps has gradually contributed in the passing game. The only stagnant part of the offense is the front five. In four games, the O-line has allowed Big Ben to be sacked 15 times and has failed to take control of the line of scrimmage in the running game. Even though an injury to their Pro Bowl center has played a part in their despicable play, the offensive front has to find a way to gel during the bye week.
4. Receiving Corps is Stepping Up
One of the few bright spots in Pittsburgh’s Week 4 loss was the collective performance of the Steelers’ wide receivers and tight ends. As a unit, they accounted for 352 of Roethlisberger’s 383 yards in the air. For the second straight week, the offense had a receiver over 100 yards, and having tight end Heath Miller back in the lineup has definitely helped.
3. Run Defense Needs to Stiffen Up
After finishing the 2012 season ranked second in the league in run defense, the Steelers are now unable to contain opposing running backs. In each of Pittsburgh’s first four games, the defense has surrendered over 100 total yards on the ground. Last year, they allowed an average of 90.6 yards per game. Currently, the 122.8 average yards per game they are surrendering ranks 29th in the league.
2. Le’Veon Bell is the Team’s Feature Back
After just playing one game so far this season, rookie running back Bell is already the Steelers’ second-leading rusher. The 57 yards he gained on 16 carries isn’t a great number, but the two touchdowns he scored in his NFL debut were the team’s first rushing scores on the season. Just imagine what he could do if the offense doesn’t have to abandon the running game playing catch-up.
1. Bye Week Couldn’t Have Come at a Better Time
Last year, many complained about the team’s early bye week, but the Steelers ended up benefiting from that due to several early injuries. It appears that the scheduling of Pittsburgh’s Week 5 bye will be just on time this season as well. Not only will it give the Steelers time to recover from their long round-trip from London, but it will also give them a much-needed extra week to right numerous wrongs before things get too out of hand for them for the 2013 season.