NFL Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers: 5 Things We Learned From Week 8

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5 Things We Learned from Week 8

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

After starting the 2013 NFL regular season with a 0-4 record, things were on the up-and-up for the Pittsburgh Steelers when they won their last two games prior to facing off against the Oakland Raiders in Week 8. Then, the team quickly reverted back to their losing ways in a 21-18 defeat this past Sunday.

Everything we thought we learned during the Steelers’ two-game winning streak diminished right before our eyes, leaving very little hope for everyone in Steeler Nation. The offense struggled, the run defense was as soft as hot butter, and the special teams couldn’t carry the team with their scoring as usual.

Head coach Mike Tomlin and the rest of the coaching staff might find a way to turn things around at some point this season, but if it ever happens, it will probably be too late. The Steelers are already at the bottom of the AFC North standings with a 2-5 record, and are one of the worst teams in the entire conference. Things will only get more difficult this upcoming week when they travel to Foxboro, MA to face the 6-2 New England Patriots.

Obviously, the general thing that we learned this week is that the Steelers are proving to be a team on the decline. It was only a few years ago that Pittsburgh was coming off back-to-back seasons of 12-4 records, which was followed by 2012’s 8-8 record and this season’s horrendous start.

Let’s take a look at five more disturbing things that we learned about the Steelers after Week 8.

Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google+.

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5. Offensive Line is Worse Than Atrocious

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Five times this year, the offensive line has given up five sacks in a single game, with the most recent being in Week 8. On another occasion this season, they surrendered four. Granted, injuries have played a major part in the O-line’s performance, but things have gotten even worse than imagined.

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4. Special Teams Could Be on the Decline

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Previously, the only setback on Pittsburgh’s special teams was the lack of production of punter Zoltan Mesko. Now, kicker Shuan Suisham has hit a rough patch after missing two chip-shot field goals that could have given the Steelers their third win of the season. Maybe the recent release Mesko will help get the special teams back on track.

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3. Offense Still Can’t Get Off to a Quick Start

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

So far this season, the Steelers have only scored three touchdowns in the first half of their seven games played. Constantly settling for field goals instead of touchdowns is a big reason why Pittsburgh has played catchup in virtually all of their games so far this season.

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2. Steelers Can’t Avoid Injury Bug

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Even dating back to last season, it seems that the Steelers can’t avoid a rash of injuries. This week, the injury bug reared its ugly head again and bit three of Pittsburgh’s offensive linemen.

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1. Season is Probably Over

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Looking at the success of the other teams in the AFC and the distance between the Steelers and the division-leading Cincinnati Bengals, chances are that the postseason hopes for Pittsburgh are long gone. Only a total meltdown in the AFC North will give the Steelers a chance at the playoffs.