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: Can the Steelers actually turn things around and field a competitive team capable of winning a playoff game or two?
Given that the way the Steelers have played over the course of the past four weeks, it’s hard for anybody to be very confident in their abilities. This does not look much like the same team that won 10 consecutive games before facing a Baltimore Ravens team ravaged by Covid-19.
It has even the most loyal diehard fans questioning whether or not this team, despite already being a lock for the postseason and still favored to win the division, is even capable of competing in the manner that got them to the status of the final remaining unbeaten team.
The offense has fallen to a shambles, and especially over the past two games, there are now major questions as to whether or not quarterback Ben Roethlisberger can continue to shoulder the load. Most concerning is that his broad accuracy and even decision-making are not where they need to be, or had been earlier this year.
Meanwhile, they are not playing the sort of complementary football that is needed for a flawed team. When the offense gives up the ball inside your own territory, you need a defense that is going to hold the opposing team to a field goal.
For most of the year, the offense was coasting on good field position the defense was helping to set up for them, which is why they ranked well in points per drive but poorly in everything else per drive. So many issues are coming to a head all at once, and we’re all just wondering if we’re now aboard a sinking ship—one that will reach the ocean, but how far will it get?