Growing chemistry on Steelers defense
In a physically demanding game look football, there's not much a team can do in terms of preventing injuries. The Pittsburgh Steelers have seen their share of significant injuries this season, including lengthy stretches without players like Cameron Heyward, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Pat Freiermuth.
As we approach the final game of the season (and possibly the playoffs) what the Steelers currently have is the players they will need to roll with against the Ravens. Starting linebackers Cole Holcomb and Kwon Alexander have been lost for the year with injuries since mid-season, and Minkah has been absent from the lineup with a knee injury.
The good news is that the Steelers are getting Fitzpatrick and LB Elandon Roberts back for the season finale. One big storyline to watch this week, however, is the chemistry in the middle and back end of the defense. Some of these players have hardly played a snap together so far with the rest of this unit (like safety Eric Rowe), while others (like Patrick Peterson have been shuffled all around the secondary.
Holcomb and Alexander aren't coming back this year, so if the Steelers do make the playoffs, this is as good as it's going to get. We need to see that chemistry grow in a hurry between the linebackers, cornerbacks, and safeties on the Steelers. If it can -- and Pittsburgh can pull off the win in Baltimore -- it will give us hope for this defense if they enter the postseason.