Three Steelers who need to step up

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Would you believe that some people are trying to spin the Pittsburgh Steelers’ loss to the New England Patriots last Thursday as a moral victory? Sadly, there’s no such thing in the NFL.

Sure, there were some positive signs and several players put on solid performances. Overall it was a disappointing effort in a game that the team had months to prepare for. In particular there were three players who need to step up their game Week 2, or they may find themselves on the bench sooner rather than later.

Defense: Cortez Allen

We can point the finger at a whole lot of Pittsburgh defenders for their play last week, but Allen was so bad that he stood out more than anybody else.

Pro Football Focus gave Allen a dismal -3.5 pass coverage grade for the game.

New England wide receiver Julian Edelman had his way with Allen all night. He caught all three of the passes thrown his way with Allen in coverage and turned them into 33 yards. Allen was also the missing piece on the unforgiveable 10-men on the field play:

If that wasn’t bad enough, Allen also missed a couple of easy tackles in the run game.

With the 49ers coming to town on Sunday, Allen will have to do a better job in coverage because Edelman can’t hold a candle to guys like Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith.

It’s possible that Antwon Blake has already supplanted him. We’ll find out later this week.