When a team rushes for 300 plus yards in the first three games of any season fans generally will not question the vitality of their team’s rushing game. There are usually never any real concerns.
The Steelers have rushed for close to 400 yards, and we have not played a quarter of the season. So why should there be any concerns? James Conner himself has two games reaching the century mark and appears to be the workhorse fans desire. Benny Snell even did the same in the week one game against the New York Giants.
Statistics, though, can be very deceptive at times, as is the case with the Steelers. When you take a more in-depth look behind the rushing statistics of the last three Steelers games, it raises some questions Steelers fans need to consider in advance of their game with the Tenessee Titans.
Is James Conner Viable as the Number one Back?
The first primary concern about the Steelers rushing game reared its ugly head in the very first game of the young 2020 season. James Conner suffered yet another injury. His third in three seasons.
James Conner suffered an injury late in 2018 and missed three of his last four games late in the season. Suffering another injury, he missed six games in 2019 and only posted 464 total rushing yards with only 110 rushing attempts, down from 215 attempts in 2018. Now he has already in 2020, missed most of the first game with an ankle sprain.
James Conner does seem to prone to injuries. Running backs in the NFL never fare well in the end. Fortunately, Conner returned quickly for week two. How long Conner stays healthy as the season progresses should be of concern. Injuries may have been the first and foremost concern on head coach Mike Tomlin’s going into the game with the Eagles and beyond as well, which raises another potential question. That aside, so long as Conner remains injury-free, the Steelers running game should flourish, and Conner could surpass the 978 yards he gained in 2018. Another injury, though, could put that prevent that and hamper any playoff run.
Now undoubtedly, this leads to the most crucial question the Steelers need to answer going into their game with the Tennessee Titans, which will into their postponed until Monday or Tuesday.