With week two in the books for the Pittsburgh Steelers, they are sitting comfortably at 2-0. Putting them on the top of their division, the Baltimore Ravens are seemingly the only team to be able to keep up with them at the moment. Let’s take a look at how they got their second win in a row in week two.
Defense of Steel
There are no two ways around it, and no one on the offense of the Steelers would disagree. Without the strength and dominance of the Steelers defense, this game would have been lost. Led by T.J. Watt, who had two and a half sacks, the Steelers defense totaled seven sacks on a frustrated Denver Broncos quarterback Jeff Driskel. Almost every time the Broncos tried to get momentum going the Steelers defense was there to knock them back. While there are still improvements to make overall on the team. The defense needs to do little else but stay healthy and keep pushing the way they are.
Ben Being Ben
Of course it is only week two, and Ben Roethlisberger is just back after the longest down period in his NFL career. However, this week showed he still has a lot of the old magic. Throwing for 311 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. It certainly wasn’t the best game he ever had but was a good solid performance.
One of the things that makes his job easier is the amount of weapons he has at his disposal. Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, and JuJu Smith-Schuster are just three of the nine receivers he threw to today and gained two hundred yards just with them. The Broncos defense could not focus on only one area with so much productive talent on the field. Add in James Conner, coming back in this week after leaving the game with an injury in week one and running for over one hundred yards. The Broncos defense was understandably spread thin.
Noteworthy, with his yardage in today’s game, Roethlisberger passed Eli Manning to become the quarterback with the seventh most passing yards in NFL history. As meaningful as these records are, Roethlisberger is always very modest as far as stats and records go. He has said many times, he feels he has nothing to prove. He came back to play with the team he has, who he feels is one of the greatest groups of men he has played with. He wants more Lombardi’s for them, for the city of Pittsburgh and for the fans.
Area to Improve
Some are calling it an ugly win, and to be truthful the Steelers have won uglier games than week two’s game. But certainly there is room for improvement even in a win. An issue in today’s game which has been an on again, off again problem was penalties. There were way too many yards given to the Broncos by pass-interference calls. This can certainly be attributed to the young season and lack of pre-season games. But it will have to be something addressed in practice this week. Tighten up that area and keep the others striving forward and more wins should be coming.
The Steelers in their home opener were much more confident than last week going in. It showed on their faces and in their play. Part of that can be attributed to being at home, fans or no fans. However part of that is experience of the season, it has been a hard year for everyone.
Playing every week is giving the players a sense of normalcy that they have been looking for. The more they play, the smoother the plays will be and their confidence can only increase. Next week they go on the road to play the Houston Texans. The Steelers have always traveled well, but the Texans won’t simply roll over and play dead. They need to bring every weapon they have to keep their winning streak going.
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