The Steelers, the team that jumped as a victim for week 1 against the Bills showed us that discarding them at this point is very premature. Few had faith in victory for many arguments that sounded logical because they faced one of the Conference rivals who stayed in the prelude to Super Bowl LV, they would do it at home and with an offense with one of the candidates to win the MVP title of the season just beginning in Josh Allen. But we forget about the strengths of the Pittsburgh team.
The defense with the virtual DPoY 2020
I say it this way because for many it was unfair the way they gave the 2020 Defensive Player title to Aaron Donald when T.J. Watt had a great year. However, the recently signed for five more years showed us why he is the best player on this defense, being key in stopping the Bills offense, even in critical moments like when the locals were in Pittsburgh territory and Watt managed to provoke a ball. loose when capturing Josh Allen.
And because not everything is Watt, the offensive line kept collapsing the bag in its attempt to pressure the QB, which on many occasions it succeeded. They put one of the toughest afternoons on this Buffalo offense since the Titans left them at 16 points and defeated them last year.
What impressed me the most was the way the secondary defense played because they managed to stay close to their assignment to avoid big plays by passing; they only allowed one over 20 yards. Stefon Diggs was limited to 7.6 yards per reception and Cole Beasley to 7.5 who are often Allen’s main targets. They defended four passes between Minkah Fitzpatrick, Cameron Sutton and James Pierre.
Together they improved as the game progressed to end up playing even better in the second half allowing 6 points after 10 in the first two quarters. The Keith Butler guys can shoulder the gear if they need it.
It is true that they did not start the game on the right foot when they allowed a 75-yard kickoff return by Isaiah McKenzie that left his opponent on the edge of the red zone and ready to score, but that the defense managed to do the damage. was minimal allowing only one Tyler Baas field goal.
But later in the fourth quarter when they were leading by three points came the vindication as Miles Killebrew managed to block the punt that allowed Ulysees Gilbert III to recover the ball and score what would become the final nail in the coffin. Defense and special teams were key in showing that it is too early to write off the Steelers as a contender in the American Conference.
And the offensive?
He faced a solid defense with good players and it was not an easy task. The offensive line is entering a renewal phase that at first seems the biggest challenge because they will need to improve so that the running game, led by Najee Harris, is important. However, the air attack has many pieces that can generate yards, win divided balls and above all with the confidence of having the experienced Ben Roethlisberger who knows how to read defenses very well before starting the play.
It was not the best performance but it is a matter of time to improve as the season progresses. It’s one of the biggest challenges now with Matt Canada as offensive coordinator.
El Factor Mike Tomlin
And don’t forget that Mike Tomlin, one of the league’s longest-serving head coaches with his franchise continues to lead the team and has not had a single losing season in his time with Pittsburgh. Playing like this with opponents considered contenders, they can hope to return to the playoffs in a year that points to be more difficult in the division.
This Sunday the Steelers shut our mouths.