The Pittsburgh Steelers had never started 0-3 under head coach Mike Tomlin, until now. There are so many people out there looking for a silver lining in this terrible start for this season. Unfortunately, besides the play from the defense, I’m really having a hard time finding any.
It’s got to be common knowledge by now that only three teams that have started the season 0-3 have gone on to the playoffs. And unfortunately for the Steelers, the schedule is not getting much easier. Some of the teams still remaining on the schedule for the Steelers include: the New England Patriots, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals, and two meetings with the Baltimore Ravens. All of those teams either have winning records or have beaten the Steelers recently. And right now the way this team is playing I find it hard to believe they can beat any of those teams.
Okay, you might be saying it’s the NFL and anything can happen on any given Sunday and with that I completely agree, but from what I have seen on the field I find it highly unlikely. First off, the Steelers’ offense can’t create drives consistently. The offense Todd Haley is trying to run (emphasis on trying) is predicated on having possession of the ball and being able to run consistently for positive gains. Right now the Steelers’ offense is averaging less than three yards per carry. And because of that they are not able to hold on to the ball. The Steelers consistently get themselves in long third down opportunities putting even more pressure on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
And the offensive problems can easily be traced back to the terrible play of the offensive line. Roethlisberger is getting hit on well over half of his drop backs and he is running for his life on every other play. If it weren’t for the fact that he is one of the hardest players in the league to bring down then I don’t even want to imagine how much worse the offense would be playing.
Yeah, you can say that Maurkice Pouncey getting hurt is a primary reason for this and I would once again agree with you…….to an extent. Yes, it’s true that Pouncey is one of the best young centers in the league, and yes it’s true that the team is significantly better when he is on the field. But is his injury even a viable excuse anymore? In four seasons as a Steeler, Pouncey has only played one full season! He has had gotten injured every season!
The Steelers’ defense has very little fault in this start. In these first three games they have been on the field all the time. You can say that they have allowed a couple big plays and haven’t made that statement play that we are used to from the Steelers’ defense but that’s because they are exhausted. It would help the offense if the defense could get a turnover soon but they need tons of help from the offense before they will get better.
The Steelers have so much work to do it’s scary. This past week against the Chicago Bears the offense began to show some life but we saw turnover problems from Roethlisberger trying to single-handedly bring the team back and more shaky play from the offensive line.
If you’re a Steeler fan, you should be worried about the Steelers. They are not looking good right now and their record shows it. Will they be able to get back on track? Maybe, hopefully, but I’m finding it hard to believe it can be done.