4. The Steelers play a tale of two halves
The Steelers spent the entire offseason building an offense that can focus on running the ball and limiting the possession of the opposition. This made a lot of sense, as the team boasts two strong running backs that should be the focus of the offense, especially considering the aforementioned struggles of Pickett.
Instead of following this game plan, the Steelers rolled out their peak, horrible 2022 offense featuring short passes and consistent plays. The results were as expected, as the team failed to mount drives and did little to remain competitive.
One would think the first area of focus to change things is to go back to the game plan. I don’t think so, unfortunately, and the Steelers pay the price for it early in the game. The focus is on the passing game, which leads to two ugly interceptions and an early 10-0 deficit. As was highlighted in this post, the play of Austin is what sparks a comeback.
As well, the offense settles into what they had built around. Najee Harris turns into a bell-cow in the second half, registering 14 carries. Jaylen Warren isn’t absent either, chipping in another 6 caries to slow the game down and play ball control. It works, and the Steelers edge out a win despite a slow start.
Ideally, the Steelers find a way to rebound after a poor start in week one. That said, I think this team takes some time to get going, as the issues they have don’t disappear this week. Keep these bold predictions in mind as the Steelers take on the Browns this Monday.