The Steelers fell short on the road this week, as they went up against the Kansas City Chiefs. Here is a look at what went right and what went wrong.
The biggest problem that the Steelers faced was holding onto the football. They had a negative turnover differential, which usually leads to losing football games.
All three turnovers were committed by Ben Roethlisberger‘s latest stand-in, Landry Jones. Jones threw two interceptions and fumbled on a quarterback sack, giving the Chiefs plenty of opportunities to win the game.
Though Jones struggled in the game, it wasn’t all his fault. Uncharacteristically, Antonio Brown dropped a catchable ball that was tipped up and intercepted by the Chiefs. There were also several dropped passes by other Steelers’ receivers.
The defense struggled at times as well. While they remained stout the closer the Chiefs got to scoring position, they still allowed 23 points.
The Steelers continue to give up too many big plays. Six different Chiefs had a play of 10 yards or more. Four of them went for 20 or more.
The Steelers also continue to struggle against the tight end position. On a single drive, KC tight end Travis Kelce had three receptions that each went for more than 10 yards.
These are both issues that the Steelers need to sort out. The Chiefs don’t have nearly as talented an offense as the Cincinnati Bengals, who the Steelers face next week.
On the bright side, there were still some positives to be drawn from the game. For starters, while Jones put the ball in danger too often, he also made a few nice throws. The offense just looks better with Landry Jones under center than with Michael Vick.
A few nice passes to Brown and Martavis Bryant showed that Jones had the arm to succeed. The touchdown to Bryant showed that Jones also has the mental toughness to pick himself up after a few bad plays.
There is still a chance that Jones has a future with the Steelers. It might not be this year or next, but history has shown that quarterbacks that can wait in the wings and learn from a legend can be successful in this league.
Speaking of Bryant and Brown, they were bright spots too. Outside of Brown’s drop, the pair once again looked like one of the more talented duos of wide receivers in the league.
After struggling to produce in weeks prior, Brown was back over 100 yards receiving. Bryant had his third touchdown catch in two games.
Le’Veon Bell had a big day too. Averaging over 7 yards a carry, Bell was difficult for the Chiefs’ defense to corral. It would be nice to see the Steelers grind out a win on the road with Bell as the workhorse–something you’d expect with the stat line he had Sunday.
With the days that Bell, Brown, and Bryant had, Roethlisberger must be excited to get back on the field. We’ll see if he can hit the ground running against the Bengals next week.
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