5 Things We Learned About Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 10
Pittsburgh Steelers: 5 Things We Learned from Week 10
Hopefully for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the second half of the 2013 NFL regular season won’t be as disastrous as the first half. No one in the football world expected the Steelers to be at the bottom of the AFC North at the midway point of the season, let alone have a 2-6 record to start this year’s campaign.
However, Pittsburgh did manage to start the back-end of the season with a much needed 23-10 victory over the Buffalo Bills. In this past Sunday’s victory, we once again saw some problems with the Steelers’ offensive line, at least in pass protection. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was sacked four times, which brings their total of allowed sacks to 36 (tied for most in the league).
The O-line did manage to show some improvement in setting the tone for the running game. Pittsburgh’s backfield amassed 111 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Though the numbers were modest, the rushing total was enough to help with the victory. The Steelers’ rushing attack hasn’t been the most potent this year, but to see more than one running back being productive behind this line gives some optimism to Steeler Nation.
Along with Pittsburgh’s running game was Roethlisberger’s ability to manage the game. Big Ben did chip in with 204 passing yards and a touchdown pass. The Steelers’ conservative approach on offense was a perfect complement to their defensive dominance against the Bills.
Pittsburgh’s control on the defensive side of the ball was just one thing that we observed in Week 10. Let’s take a look at some other things that was learned from the Steelers’ third win of the season.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google+
5. William Gay Isn’t As Bad As We Thought
Coming into the season, it was predicted by many (including myself) that Cortez Allen would be the starting cornerback opposite Ike Taylor. Well, Allen proved to not be totally ready for the task, and William Gay has recently shown that he is. Gay’s coverage in the secondary and help against the run has helped him keep his spot in the starting lineup.
4. Le’Veon Bell is Becoming Dual Threat in Backfield
Many knew about rookie Le’Veon Bell’s ability to run the ball when Pittsburgh selected him in the second round of the 2013 draft. What many didn’t take notice of is his ability as a receiver. Along with Bell’s 339 rushing yards, he has 20 catches for 186 yards (9.3 yards per reception) and is averaging 31.0 receiving yards per game.
3. Jerricho Cotchery Has Gone from Forgotten Man to Touchdown Target
For the second week in a row, wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery found the end zone for the Steelers. Cotchery has been on the receiving end of six of Roethlisberger’s 13 touchdown passes this season and leads the team in touchdowns.
2. Run Defense Finally Fixed Their Problem
After surrendering a combined 394 rushing yards and six touchdowns in Weeks 8 and 9, Pittsburgh found a way to contain Buffalo’s seventh-ranked rushing attack. This could be a welcomed sign for Steeler fans with Reggie Bush and the Detroit Lions coming to the Steel City for Week 11.
1. Steelers Are Still Lucky to Still Be in the Hunt
Believe it or not, the Steelers still have a remote chance of making the playoffs, even with a 3-6 record after Week 10. Pittsburgh is only one game behind both the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens for second place in the AFC North. Furthermore, four of the Steelers’ final seven games are against divisional opponents. If they somehow run the table against the AFC North, win some other non-divisional games, and get a little help along the way, Pittsburgh could find themselves in the postseason.