The Pittsburgh Steelers are entering their fourth game of the season next week with just one win to show for their efforts. The team currently has a 1-1-1 record—oddly one of four teams to currently hold that record—and is on the brink of a big divisional match against the Baltimore Ravens in primetime.
For a team with Super Bowl aspirations, you never want to be at .500, even after one game, and you certainly don’t want to be below. They are coming off their first win of the year just to get back to .500, and while they have put up some points, the offense is taking the blame.
Or at least quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, one of the team captains, is doing so. Not that he wouldn’t. But for a team with so much money committed to the offensive side of the ball, including especially Roethlisberger himself as well as Antonio Brown and the offensive line, the expectations are rightfully higher.
In the past, in fact, the Steelers have felt so strongly about their offseason prowess that they have spoken openly about setting statistical goals for themselves. Most notably was the desire to score 30 points per game. While they set new franchise-bests in points scored, they never really came too close to that average.
Roethlisberger and company have long fallen out of being interested in such statistics. There is only one that matters, and that is wins and losses—and ties. “We only have one win and to me, the offense and Randy (Fichtner), it’s not about stats. It’s about winning and losing”, he said.
“We didn’t put up any goals this year in terms of points or yards or where we wanted to rank. We just want to win football games. To only have one win, I would say offensively we aren’t doing our job”.
That is true, though it doesn’t mean that the defense is doing its job. The fact of the matter is that both groups are talented but flawed—in the case of the defense, very flawed. It’s obvious by now that the offense is going to have to put up a lot of points this season to win games, and the defense will have to help by getting some turnovers.
That was the recipe for victory number one, in which the defense forced four turnovers, including a pick six, that helped set the team up to score 30 points in the first half. That proved to be just enough to hold off a 17-point rally by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the second half.