It took three weeks but the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense finally showed up last night against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Steelers played their first team offense throughout the whole first half, and finally got solid production from the starters. Unfortunately, the Steelers still lost the game in overtime 26-20.
Steelers quarterback Big Ben Roethlisberger played his best game of the preseason so far, going 13 of 19 for 166 yards and one touchdown. Ben looked great against the Chiefs; he looked comfortable in the pocket and he looked like the old Ben moving around, stepping up into the pocket. The two-time Super Bowl champion is the key to the Steelers’ offense, and when he is playing like he did last night the Steelers will be able to put up points.
The best part is the fact that Roethlisberger didn’t looked hampered by the knee surgery, especially on his touchdown pass where he ran away from two defenders to get Jonathan Dwyer the ball out in the flat.
The veteran quarterback had good zip on the ball and was accurate. He led the Steelers to ten points but all of those were in the first quarter. The Steelers did not put up any points in the second quarter of the game.
Roethlisberger looked good even under pressure which is what he is known for, but sadly he took way too many hits. The offensive line did not look great. They allowed five sacks and did not open many holes for the running game as well. The line still looks like the lines of the past few seasons and they still can’t stop a nose bleed. At least in the first two games they had some success run blocking but in this game they did not look good at all.
Due to the lacking play of the offensive line, the running game was not great last night. Jonathan Dwyer and newcomer Felix Jones took the majority of the carries for the Steelers. Each had eight carries; Jones had 29 yards while Dwyer had 25 yards. Neither had great numbers because of the poor play of the offensive line but Jones showed a good burst on some carries and Dwyer displayed the toughness that had him lead the team in rushing yards last season. Hopefully the offensive line will pull it together and the running game will get better for the Steelers.
So far this preseason, the Steelers have proven how much it means to them for Roethlisberger to stay healthy and play well. The best plays for the offense came when Big Ben was able to be himself and move around in the pocket. It’s good that the first team offense was finally able to put up some points, but ten points in only one half of play still is not going to be enough to win this year. There is still tons of work that the offense needs to do but this is the start that we have been waiting for and hopefully they will build off of this in the coming weeks.