2018 South Side Questions: More Or Less Confident After Narrow Escape?

The Pittsburgh Steelers are out of Latrobe and back at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, also referred to as the South Side Facility. We are already into the regular season, where everything is magnified and, you know, actually counts. The team is working through the highs and lows and dramas that go through a typical Steelers season.

How are the rookies performing? What about the players that the team signed in free agency? Who is missing time with injuries, and when are they going to be back? What are the coaches saying about what they are going to do this season that might be different from how it was a year ago?

These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.

Question: Are you more or less confident in this Steelers team after yesterday’s victory?

The Steelers haven’t lost a game in a while, currently running their winning streak up to six, but yesterday was as close as they’ve come to losing during that time. In fact, they were losing with just seconds to go. They were even down by two possessions with under three minutes remaining in the contest.

So my question today is this: do you find the encouraging nature of their comeback more compelling than the concerning nature of their struggles for the majority of the game? Basically, irrespective of the fact that they won, was this game a net positive or negative relative to your belief that this team can win the Super Bowl?

Both sides of the ball put a lot of ugly play down on tape, especially in the first half, but as has been the case against the Jaguars before, the biggest problem overall was Ben Roethlisberger’s turnovers, being intercepted three times. And he had two other passes picked off that were negated by defensive penalties, so there was some luck involved as well.

The Jaguars defense did make some great individual plays. Both of Jalen Ramsey’s interceptions were skillfully done, one in zone coverage and the other in man. But they were avoidable as well, as was the one to Barry Church.

Meanwhile, the run defense for most of the first half looked as bad as ever at the line of scrimmage, with Jacksonville’s backs routinely getting to the second level. Sometimes it seemed like the only saving grace was the Jaguars’ rare decisions to throw.

Despite all the awfulness, though, the entire team collectively turned things around and pulled it out in the end. The defense really bottled things up in the second half, minus one bad drive, and the offense did what it had to do at the end, Roethlisberger making some elite throws along the way.

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