We are past halfway through the NFL season and there is only one undefeated team in the entire NFL, the Pittsburgh Steelers. But let’s be honest, the Steelers sure do love to give heart attacks to their very dedicated and loyal fans…on a weekly basis. Even though they are undefeated, there have been some shaky–and ugly–games. Let’s take a look at the areas the Steelers have struggled with, where they have been great, and what to look for going forward.
Really Bad Habit
If there is one thing that the Steelers consistently do, it is that they play down against much weaker teams. When they are going up against a strong, dominant team–such as the Baltimore Ravens, they play hard all the way through the game and they come out of the gate pushing. In week nine, playing the Cowboys, they came out of the locker-room almost like they didn’t want to bother. Yes, they wanted the win, but they acted like being there was just a formality. The sense of urgency has got to improve in Pittsburgh if the Steelers want to remain undefeated.
There were many reasons that this was a mistake, besides the obvious that you should never count a win before you have it. The Cowboys are the Steelers’ biggest non-division rivals. They have a history that is decades in the making. Add in the fact that the Cowboys had nothing else to lose and were playing fourth-string quarterback Garrett Gilbert, this was a recipe for disaster.
Compounding the slow start on defense, the Steelers also didn’t score until late in the second quarter. Just before scoring their first touchdown, they were 13 points in the hole. This is something that will come back to bite them against stronger teams.
The Cowboys may have found a “blueprint” to beat the Steelers, but the Bengals sure couldn’t use it in week ten, as the Steelers came out of the gates firing on all cylinders in a 36-10 victory.
Always Finding a Way
So far this year, no matter how big the hole they have fallen in, no matter how big the mountains they have had to climb up, the Steelers have found a way to remain undefeated and fight their way to a win each week. This is not only a sign of great leadership by coaches and team captains but also shows a true cohesion of the entire team. The offense finds a way to makes plays, when they can’t, the defense will take up the slack and keep the pressure on until the offense can score. Not to mention, many times the defense or special teams will even score to themselves to help out.
There is no part of this Steelers team that isn’t part of the reason they are undefeated. There is a great feeling in the locker room. There is a dedication to one goal, to keep winning and ultimately get their franchise’s seventh ring.
Even though Ben Roethlisberger is not one to care about stats, there are some that deserve a mention. First, this is the first time in Steelers history that the team has started off 9-0. Next, with this last win, head coach Mike Tomlin and Roethlisberger have officially never had a losing season with the Steelers.
Another notable fact is that Roethlisberger just recorded his 68th career 300-yard game, going 29/42 with 306 yards and three touchdowns. He passed Dan Marino to be sixth in NFL history when it comes to 300-yard games. Big Ben also has the most all-time for the Steelers.
As good as it is, to be undefeated halfway through the season, there is a lot of pressure that comes with…it along with a big target. The Steelers are the only undefeated team left and anyone they play is going to want to be the squad to give them that first loss. In week eleven, they are playing the Jacksonville Jaguars.
However, if nothing else, the Steelers are not egotistical and think that there is no room for improvement. Multiple players mentioned in interviews what was wrong against the Cowboys and what needed to be improved. They fixed it against the Bengals and are hoping it doesn’t happen again this season. Hopefully, they keep making the corrections and finish the year undefeated!
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