After the Pittsburgh Steelers stomped the Colts in a 45-10 blowout on Sunday night in prime time, the explosive offense continued to draw headlines during the week, as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was named the FedEx Air Player of the Week, and running back DeAngelo Williams earned the honor of FedEx Ground Player of the Week. It was the first time that the Steelers had swept this award.
For his part, Roethlisberger completed 24 of 39 passes for 364 yards and a season-high four touchdowns, averaging 9.4 yards per pass attempt, while keeping his stat sheet clean with no interceptions, fumbles, or sacks taken.
Williams, meanwhile, posted his third 100-yard rushing game of the season in just six starts, compiling a 134-yard rushing day on 26 rushing attempts, adding another 31 receiving yards on five receptions, although he did not have any touchdowns, and fumbled twice, losing one of them.
The Steelers’ recognition in this mid-week award category serves as an appropriate microcosm of what has become the norm for what should be a dominant, explosive, and dynamic offense this season, despite being down three starters.
More than at any other time in this generation of players, the Steelers are an offense that can beat you in any way they choose, boasting a top-quality aerial attack as well as one of the most efficient ground games in the league.
The improvement in the running game is particularly impressive considering where they were last season in this category in comparison to the rest of the league in addition to the reality of spending the majority of the season without two of their starting offensive linemen.
Oh, and All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell has also missed more than half of the season as the Steelers have only improved upon their rushing numbers from last season.
Williams has compiled 697 rushing yards on 141 carries to go along with six rushing touchdowns, as he figures to be on pace to record his first 1000-yard rushing season since 2009. Roethlisberger leads the league not only in passing yards per game, but in passing yards per attempt, completing 66 percent of his passes for 2707 yards in eight games, averaging 8.9 yards per throw to go along with 15 passing touchdowns and a 98.1 quarterback rating.
As a team, the Steelers rank in the top 10—in fact, in the top six, with an upward trajectory—in the four major categories. The most crucial is points scored, for which their 25.9 points her game ranks sixth league-wide.
Their five-ranked passing offense, averaging 286 yards per game in spite of surviving four games without Roethlisberger, combined with their sixth-round rushing offense, which averages 123.1 yards per game, evens out to the second-ranked offense in churning out yards overall, averaging an impressive 409.1 yards per game.
It is remarkable considering the pieces that they have lost or had to do without for extended periods of time this year that the Steelers’ offense has even come close to approaching their lofty preseason expectations for themselves, and is simply a testament to just how good they are, and how much better they could be.