The Steelers are coming off a complete performance last week against the Vikings. Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense took a step forward. Martavis Bryant and JuJu Smith-Schuster played phenomenal games, both with a receiving touchdowns. Le’Veon Bell had a more productive day, but is still looking for his first explosive play of the season. The defense didn’t skip a beat against a talented Vikings offense, which was without Sam Bradford. The quarterback pressure continues to be a highlight, which is a great sign for this young defense.
With all the positives that came from last week’s game, the Steelers look like a team that would destroy the Bears. Don’t be so quick to write this game down in the books. This game is what I like to call the trap game for the Steelers. Anyone can tell you that the Steelers are more talented than the Bears. Also, anyone can tell you that talent alone doesn’t win you games. So why do the Steelers always play a 4 quarter battle against low tier teams?
Most people look at Mike Tomlin when trying to answer this question. Many people believe his teams aren’t buttoned up and can’t play consistently due to his lack of discipline enforced. While that might be the case in certain entices, the lack of consistently on the defensive side of the ball is the main culprit. The Steelers defense hasn’t been in the top 10 in the NFL since 2012. Last year’s defense improved vastly, mainly due to the top 3 draft picks: Artie Burns, Sean Davis, and Javon Hargrave. However, they were still outside the top ten in total defense and had a poor 3rd down efficiency rating, 41.1, which ranked 23rd. This inconsistently has lead the Steelers offense to try and takeover the game leading to key turnovers in the 4th quarter.
This year and specifically this week will the time that the Steelers get over the hump and play historic Pittsburgh Steelers football on both sides of the ball. Over the first two weeks the defense has lead the team to victory, which in turn has them ranked in top ten for both total defense and 3rd down efficiency. Look for the offense to break through this week as the defense proves that consistently is finally back in Pittsburgh.
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