3 negative takeaways (and 1 positive takeaway) from Steelers disgusting loss vs 49ers

San Francisco 49ers v Pittsburgh Steelers
San Francisco 49ers v Pittsburgh Steelers / Joe Sargent/GettyImages
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Negative takeaways No. 2: The Steelers' revamped defense is facing major growing pains

With massive turnover on the Steelers' defense, it is fair to assume there would be some struggle early on as they developed chemistry as a unit. The complete lack of competence Pittsburgh's defense exhibited was not expected.

Brock Purdy and Brandon Aiyuk devoured the Steelers' secondary for the majority of the day. When Purdy wasn't hooking up with Aiyuk for big plays and touchdowns, Christian McCaffrey and the 49ers offensive line found themselves feasting on the Steelers front seven. With an injured Cam Heyward watching from the sidelines, the Steelers had no answer for the San Francisco offense.

Pittsburgh allowed 2022's Mr. Irrelevant to operate efficiently, completing 20 of his 29 attempts for 220 yards and two touchdowns. Outside of TJ Watt's impressive three-sack game, the rest of the Steelers' supposedly dominant pass rush got little-to-no pressure on Brock Purdy, giving him all day to spread the ball around.

It felt like watching the Steelers' defense from the mid-2010's as they got picked apart drive after drive. Except this time, they did not have the likes of Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown to keep them in the game.

The Steelers face a running game just as scary next week when they take on the Cleveland Browns and Nick Chubb. Mike Tomlin desperately needs his defensive leaders and free agent acquisitions from this past offseason to step up in a big way if they want to have any chance of containing a powerful runner in Nick Chubb.