There are certainly no shortage of negatives to take away from Week 3, but here are the positives to note from the Pittsburgh Steelers loss vs Browns.
It was incredibly discouraging to see the Pittsburgh Steelers fall apart in the second half against the Cleveland Browns. After the offense gave us a glimmer of hope with a strong 14-point second quarter, they were able to manage just three points for the remainder of the game as they looked like their old usual selves.
It’s so easy to harp on the negatives when things are going the way they have for the Steelers so far. They lost their best player to a pectoral injury in Week 1, and their offense is currently one of the very worst units in the league.
These are some truly concerning things; however, I don’t want to take away from some of the positives we witnessed as well. Here are some of the things that went well and the bright spots fans have to look forward to after the Steelers loss to the Browns on Thursday Night Football:
Jaylen Warren looks really good so far
I know he had the fumble in the second half that could have proven to be very costly, and ball security has been an issue throughout the summer; however, it’s hard not to be impressed with Jaylen Warren all around so far. Early in the season, he showcased his ability to lower the hammer on blitzing linebackers with some stellar blocks in pass protection. Now, he’s displaying his ability to carve up defenses on the ground and through the air.
Warren averaged 7.5 yards per carry against the Browns in Week 3 after a relatively slow start to the season. After not catching a pass in his first two games, Warren would have pulled off by far the most explosive play of the season for the Steelers when he showed his burst and ability to shed arm tackles after the catch. Sadly, this massive gain was brought back due to an illegal-man-downfield call. Still, the traits are there and fans should be impressed.
Steelers OL is outperforming expectations
I don’t know how many would have predicted that the Steelers offensive line would have been playing this week through three games. Obviously, I’m not going to start talking them up like they are one spectacular unit, but it’s safe to say they’ve outperformed early expectations.
For the most part, Mitch Trubisky has had clean pockets to work with. After allowing just 7 total pressures in the first two games, according to Pro Football Focus, the Steelers allowed just 4 pressures against Myles Garrett and the Cleveland Browns — giving up just one sack that was on the quarterback.
On the ground, the Steelers made big strides in Week 3 as they managed 104 yards on an impressive 4.7 yards per carry, via ESPN stats. They also chipped in two rushing scores. This unit is hardly the weakest link right now. They are young, and there’s reason to believe they will continue to trend in the right direction — assuming they can avoid the injury bug.
George Pickens could be a beast in the future
George Pickens’ catch down the sideline was one of the most impressive catches I’ve seen by an NFL receiver. I think most would agree. The body control and natural ability to contort his body is an exceptionally rare gift. However, Pickens should be much more than a receiver who occasionally wows with a big play. He could be one of the best young receivers in the league in the near future.
Pickens really isn’t lacking the skill set to do so; rather, he needs an offensive coordinator who is willing to scheme him the ball and a QB who wants to throw his direction often (which is currently an issue). I’m hopeful that this team will eventually learn how to use Pickens, and the sky is the limit for his upside.
I have a tendency to be negative sometimes when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but I think it’s also important (for our own sanity) that we take some time to note the positives we are seeing as well. Let’s hope we see more of these in the near future.