4 positions that will be the downfall of the Steelers in the playoffs

James Conner #30 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
James Conner #30 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle (84) Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Avery Williamson (51). Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Inside linebacker

Forget everything the box score has to say, Avery Williamson really has not been good since being traded to the Steelers just before the deadline. While he has been solid against the run and has done a good job blitzing, his coverage grade has been abysmal. This isn’t due to a lack of athleticism, but he is always a few steps late reacting to his man or to filling his zone.

This has always been an area of weakness for Williamson. Unfortunately, this makes Vince Williams a horrible pairing for him, as both players essentially offer the same thing with very limited ability to stop the passing game over the middle of the field. Against the Colts, they were clearly picked on early and often.

Obviously, Devin Bush would have made a big difference in this area with his speed and ability to run with running backs and tight ends over the middle, but he won’t be available until next year. Fortunately, Robert Spillane will be eligible to play as early as this week, but we are still unsure of how long it will take for him to assume the role he played before his knee injury.

If Steelers can have Spillane healthy for the playoffs, I feel much better about this group. However, a combination of Williamson and Williams could prove to be lethal to the Steelers if they are forced to play too many snaps in the playoffs.