The journey toward the Super Bowl is now well under way with the Pittsburgh Steelers back practicing at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, still informally referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility. With the regular season standing in their way on the path to a Lombardi, there will be questions for them to answer along the way.
We have asked and answered a lot of questions during the preseason and through training camp, but much of the answer-seeking ends in the regular season, and teams simply have to make do with what they have available to them. Still, there will always be questions for us.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the regular season and beyond as they develop, looking for the answers as we evaluate the makeup of the Steelers on their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.
Question: How balanced will the Steelers come out on offense against the Colts?
Just to address the elephant in the room, I put literally no stock in what Le’Veon Bell said on Snapface or whatever kids use these days. I doubt he was even being serious. But the run/pass balance on offense is a serious question to consider as the Steelers head into the second half of the season.
Over the course of the past few games, the Steelers have put more emphasis on running the ball, with Bell even rushing 30-plus times a couple times in that span, but Ben Roethlisberger did throw the ball more frequently, and earlier on, in the final game.
Considering the number of starters that the Colts have lost in the secondary—having just released the injured Vontae Davis, especially—I would think that they will find it very enticing the want to throw the ball around in Indianapolis.
There is also the fact that Roethlisberger has been extremely successful and prolific throwing against the Colts over the course of the past few years. And I also can’t help but get the feeling that he’s pretty eager to shut some people up.
So personally it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Steelers come out on Sunday throwing the ball all over the place, with the added bonus of trying to get Martavis Bryant right back into the action, an outcome that would truly be mutually beneficial.
The run/pass balance as the game wears on tends to be driven more by game circumstances, so I’m less interested in what they’re doing in the fourth quarter. If they’re winning, they’re running; if they’re losing, they’re passing. But I would definitely like to see what their first couple of drives end up looking like, by design.