Cam Heyward didn’t mince words after Sunday’s 31-point defeat to the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Steelers sucked today. And if they keep playing that way, they’ll suck next week too.
Heyward offered his assessment of the defense after allowing 34 points to the Bengals, the other seven coming off Ben Roethlisberger’s pick-six.
“There’s a lot of football to be played,” he said via Steelers.com. “But if we do what we did out there today, we won’t win another damn game.”
It starts up front with the Steelers’ run defense, again putting on a horrid showing against the Bengals. Joe Mixon rushed for a career-high 165 yards and would’ve had 200+ had he not been taken out of the game. On the day, Cincinnati ran for 198 on the ground, their best mark against the Steelers since 2000, and put up 41-points, the most allowed by Pittsburgh to them in over 30 years.
It was obvious to even the most novice football fan but the defense did nothing right in this game.
“We got our tails kicked. We did not play well in really any facet of that game. Too much pitch and catch when they did pass the ball. Fell forward almost every single time it felt like in the run game. Even when we were down in the red zone, I know we got a couple of stops, but it wasn’t enough. Surrendering seven, that’s unacceptable.”
The Bengals finished the day 3-4 in the red zone, settling for only one field goal after Joe Burrow ran himself into a sack on their second possession following Ben Roethlisberger’s first interception. Their third down offense was stellar in the first half, only tailing off at the end with the game decided.
“We’ve got to get back on the horse.”
The next horse will be a bucking broncos, a Ravens’ team who has always run well against the Steelers, even when Pittsburgh had formidable fronts. Last year, they averaged 197 yards in their two regular season games. In 2019, that number sat at 18.
Heyward stressed the need for better starts. Against the Bengals, Pittsburgh quickly fell behind 10-0 and the defense fell flat against the Chargers the week before, though they ultimately gave up just seven first-quarter points.
Sunday’s game against the Ravens is must-win. The Steelers must have a better beginning. They also must have a better middle and ending, too.