2020 South Side Questions: More Concerns About Offense Or Defense After Two Games?

The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the regular season, following the most unique offseason in the NFL since at least World War II. While it didn’t involve a player lockout, teams still did not have physical access to their players, though they were at least able to meet with them virtually.

Even training camp looked much different from the norm, and a big part of that was the fact that there will be no games along the way to prepare for. Their first football game of the year was to be the opener against the New York Giants.

As the season progresses, however, there will be a number of questions that arise on a daily basis, and we will do our best to try to raise attention to them as they come along, in an effort to both point them out and to create discussion

Questions like, how will the players who are in new positions this year going to perform? Will the rookies be able to contribute significantly? How will Ben Roethlisberger look—and the other quarterbacks as well? Now, we even have questions about whether or not players will be in quarantine.

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: After two games, do you have more long-term concerns for 2020 with the offense or the defense?

Before we begin, let me just say that it’s quite nice to be worry about this question while sitting at 2-0 for the season. You’re always going to have problems as a team, but as long as you keep winning, at the end of the day, that’s what matters most.

That being said, while they have won both of their games so far this year, they haven’t looked invincible, either. Even when their pass rush looks relentless, they have still allowed offenses to move down the field a fair bit, even with a backup quarterback for most of the way last week. And the Broncos had a lot more success on the ground than the Giants did.

Offensively, inconsistency continues to be there. When you put up over 400 yards, that usually goes with more than 24 points—and you usually are able to convert on third down more than twice on a dozen opportunities.

The running game has had its moments—they’ve managed to produce a 100-yard rusher in each of their first two games—but their success rate per run can use improvement. The quality of the offensive line’s performance as a whole is to be taken into question. And they’re struggling to integrate the tight ends and running backs into the passing game.

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