The Ugly: Veteran Defensive Backs Are Nothing Short of Awful
If the run defense is almost pathetic, what Levi Wallace and Patrick Peterson are giving the Steelers in the passing game is certainly just that.
No one in this fanbase should have expected Nacua and Kupp to combine for anything less than 100 yards. There's no room for delusions here. But something has to give on the backend.
Kupp did have an off game, with just two catches for 29 yards and two costly early drops. Nacua was nearly unstoppable with over 150 yards, though.
The Rams have a great offensive scheme for their passing offense and know how to take advantage of man alignments with their route combinations. That's what you get against Sean McVay. That can't excuse two veteran defensive backs struggling this deep into the season as Levi Wallace and Patrick Peterson continue to leave the team hanging in these situations.
Look at Tutu Atwell's touchdown as prime example number one as neither manages to track the football while Wallace showed off his total lack of recovery speed. The Rams were luckier than good on the play, but these two were worse than unlucky.
Look at any of Nacua's receptions and it only gets more cumbersome to analyze what these two are giving the defense each week.
Props where it's due, as Joey Porter Jr. has been given more snaps. While he's not a complete product, his coverage skills have been leaps and bounds better than his locker-room mentors.
The deeper we get into the season, the more inexcusable it gets that Peterson is miscommunicating with his defensive backfield and more inexcusable that Wallace is covering at such a poor rate.