The Pittsburgh Steelers have opened three of their four games played so far this season with the ball to open the first half. They have gone three and out on each of those three drives. The other game in which the other team received the ball first ended in a fumble on third and four, the third play of the drive.
In all, the team has scored just six points in the first quarter over 60 minutes of play so far. And that was on just one score, the 75-yard breakaway touchdown by tight end Vance McDonald. That play came on third and 10. They only got six points out of it following a missed extra point.
In contrast, the team has scored 66 points in the second quarter, with at least seven points during the quarter so far in every game, twice putting up over 20 points. And then they begin to fizzle in the second half once again. The second half is its own problem, but they really need to figure out the slow starts.
“It’s the old adage, ‘it’s never as good as you think and never as bad as you think’. It wasn’t as bad, but it was still pretty bad”, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said during his weekly radio appearances on 93.7 FM of his own performance during the game on Sunday . “It’s still frustrating because I take pride in wanting to be the best, one of the best in the world at what I do, and when you have an off day, as the quarterback, at your position, it’s really hard for the rest of the team to pick up your slack, and it’s hard to win football games when you have a bad day. So that’s why you just hope you don’t have many of them”.
He was asked specifically about the slow starts and told the hosts that it’s something that they are going to talk about today to try to get solved. “We’re going to spend some time tomorrow with Coach Randy and some of the offensive coaches to try and figure out what’s going on”.
“I mean obviously you know what it is. We’re getting penalties, we’re behind the chains, and then you just dig yourself a little hole and it’s hard to overcome”, he said. “We need to figure out a different way to start fast. Not really sure what that answer is yet, but we need to be better starting fast”.
The earliest that the Steelers have ever scored so far this season was on their third possession of the game. They accomplished that in each of the past two weeks, following a punt and a turnover on their first two possessions. One was a field goal (on a drive that did begin in the first quarter) and the other an explosive-play touchdown on third and 10 from their own 25-yard line. They also had a touchdown drive that began with 1:55 to play in the first quarter and ended about four minutes into the second during the season opener.