4 takeaways from the Steelers pathetic showing vs Bengals
By Andrew Falce
The Steelers run defense is washed
An aspect of this team that has had a severe fall from grace is this run defense. Last year, this defense was stout against the runners it faced and was arguably the best team in the league at stopping rushing attacks. This season started off worse, but still acceptable as they limited the backs they were facing. Recently though, this run defense has completely fallen off and has become a failure of a unit.
It all starts up front for the unit, as injuries have ravaged this group. Stephon Tuitt has yet to play a snap while Tyson Alualu was lost early in the season to an injury. While the play of some of the reserves have been strong, they are playing far more snaps than anticipated and it shows. The depth is incredibly weak leading to rotation issues and the ok play of the backups have been figured out and are now being planned around.
You can’t mention the failures of the run defense without Devin Bush either. The third-year linebacker has been abysmal when trying to stop the run. His tackling angles are bad and his aggression when trying to stop the run has been worse. He has been a liability there so far and it shows as opposing offenses have rushed all over him.
While the prospect of getting Carlos Davis back is helpful, he alone won’t turn this unit around. Unfortunately, it seems as if these issues will be the focus as the team faces the Ravens, a premier rushing offense in the NFL. It doesn’t look like things will get better for the team unfortunately as the road only gets harder from here.