The Steelers have a second-half problem that needs fixed
By Andrew Falce
The Steelers are on an impressive four-game winning streak, but the team clearly has a second-half issue that needs to be addressed.
The Steelers have successfully turned their miserable start of the season into a respectable 5-3 record off the heels of a four-game winning streak. While you have to take any sort of win when you can get it, the Steelers have shown some clear issues in terms of how they have won. A four-game winning streak is never easy to accomplish, but the team wasn’t facing any top-level teams during that stretch.
The team has beaten the Broncos, Seahawks, Browns, and the Bears on this streak, and none of these teams are great aside from possibly the Browns. The Seahawks were without their quarterback Russell Wilson and the Browns were banged up, but even then, the Steelers struggled to get through their competition. Despite some of these games starting off strong for the team, the second half has been all slow-moving and mediocre.
The Steelers aren’t adjusting well at halftime
Pittsburgh has allowed only twelve total first-half points to all four of these teams during this winning streak. On the flip side, they themselves have scored 48 points in the first half. The Steelers have been nothing short of fantastic at the beginning of games, as they have been able to move the ball efficiently and stop opposing offenses through the first two quarters.
On the other hand, the Steelers have been outscored 64-46 in the second half of play, and as a result, they have almost lost some of these games. It isn’t like the team is facing some of the better teams in the NFL, these are all teams, besides the Browns, that may end up with potential top-ten draft picks. The first half results should have been expected. The second-half ones are tough to swallow.
If I had to guess, it seems as though the Steelers are getting really complacent at halftime with their scheme. They see the success that they have and instead of trying to innovate to prevent any opposing teams’ counter, they play it safe due to some of their roster deficiencies. It’s almost like the team knows that the opposing team will catch up, so the plan is to do just enough to win without changing their initial strategy.
This may work against bad teams, but the Steelers’ schedule gets far more difficult after the Lions. Playing it safe when your roster isn’t elite is a bad strategy, and the team will have to make the proper adjustments to their second-half strategy sooner than later. They won’t be able to just get by as they have done on this four-game streak.
While it is fine to celebrate the Steelers winning streak, it is vital to note that this team isn’t a complete unit yet. Its abundantly clear that this group is having some major second-half issues, and as a result, it is further hindering the team’s ability to win long-term. As the schedule gets tougher, the Steelers have to fix their second-half woes in order to remain competitive.