Pittsburgh Steelers: Still Searching For Complete-Game Performance

By Jeff Hartman
Heath Miller
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

As great as the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ victory was over the Detroit Lions on Sunday at Heinz Field, it still had fans scratching their head. Why can’t this team put together a complete game?

Take a look at the box score, statistics or even the flow of the game on Sunday, and you saw the usual performance by the Steelers. It looked like a roller coaster — some great plays followed by some of the most boneheaded plays that you’ll ever see on an NFL field.

The victory was a big one for the reeling Steelers, and the star players shined on Sunday. Ben Roethlisberger finished the day with 367 yards passing with four touchdowns, but what really hurts is the fact that Heath Miller, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown all dropped potential touchdown passes, which could have given Roethlisberger six touchdowns on the day.

Roethlisberger was spreading the ball around on Sunday. Brown led the Steelers in receiving reeling in seven catches for 147 yards and two touchdowns. He wasn’t alone though, as Miller caught eight passes for 67 yards, along with a slew of other receivers also contributing. Roethlisberger threw completions to eight different receivers, and seven of them had double-digit receiving totals.

On Sunday, the Steelers’ passing game was the good, but there was plenty of bad to the first half for the Steelers’ defense.

In the first half, the Steelers’ defense not only surrendered 27 points (all in the second quarter), but allowed Lions receiver Calvin Johnson to catch six passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns — again, all in the first half. To add insult to injury, the Steelers’ defense gave up over 300 yards passing by Matthew Stafford in one half of football.

With that said, just like the roller coaster ride, the Steelers defense tightened the clamps in the second half and not only didn’t give up another point, but held Johnson without a catch.

To think that this Steelers team is capable of putting together four quarters of football like they did in quarters no. 1, 3 and 4 makes one think how good this team could be. This 2013 version of the Steelers has not put together a complete four-quarter performance this season, and that could be a direct reason why they sit at 4-6.

Regardless of how it got done, the Steelers have won back-to-back games and put themselves back in the thick of things in terms of playoff positioning. But for this team to continue to compete, they need to show a greater level of consistency to be one of the lucky six teams that advances to the playoffs come January.

Jeff Hartman covers the Pittsburgh Steelers for RantSports.com and also   contributes for the Penguins and Pirates. Follow him on Twitter @BnGBlitz

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