The Pittsburgh Steelers have had plenty of ups and downs thus far in the 2023 season, but they find themselves sitting at 2-2 entering a Week 5 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. Both teams are dealing with injuries, but the Ravens appear to be getting a little healthier, while the Steelers have been getting more banged up.
The Steelers have a bye week following this game, so a win would be huge for the team, to gain momentum, before resting up, and hopefully getting some players back healthy for the rest of the season. Diontae Johnson and Pat Freiermuth could both be healthy and ready to go when the team travels to Los Angeles to play the Rams in Week 7, so reinforcements will be coming, the Steelers just have to hold on until then.
However, with players missing time, the players who are healthy are going to need to step up and help the Steelers overcome these injuries, in order to stay in the AFC North Division Race.
4. Patrick Peterson
Patrick Peterson was signed to a 2-year deal in the offseason to help strengthen the secondary since it was one of the defense's biggest weaknesses a season ago. However, he has not lived up to the contract thus far, as he has given up tons of yardage and several touchdowns. Nico Collins, and Brandon Aiyuk in particular are two that tormented him this season, and both Amari Cooper and Davante Adams also had massive days, although they were moved around the field more and weren't just going against Peterson.
Peterson called out the 49ers prior to Week 1, saying that they had tells in their offense, only to give up two touchdowns to Aiyuk, and get beat plenty of times in the process. To make matters worse, the team let go of its most productive cornerback in the offseason, Cameron Sutton, in favor of Peterson, due to him coming at a more cost-effective price. Sutton has excelled in Detroit this season, helping take part in a much improved Lions defense.
While the Steelers can't go back on their decision to let Peterson walk, he can help prove to them that it wasn't the wrong decision. Ever since he entered the league, Peterson has been one of the best ballhawks in the NFL, and he can add some splash plays to the defense, by forcing a few turnovers. Add to that that he is a veteran and can be a massive help in mentoring Joey Porter Jr., and he can easily prove to the team that signing him was not the wrong decision. The team will need him to step up in a big way, particularly now that Cameron Heyward is hurt, and the team will be vulnerable against the run.