The journey toward the Super Bowl is now well under way with the Pittsburgh Steelers back practicing at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, still informally referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility. With the regular season standing in their way on the path to a Lombardi, there will be questions for them to answer along the way.
We have asked and answered a lot of questions during the preseason and through training camp, but much of the answer-seeking ends in the regular season, and teams simply have to make do with what they have available to them. Still, there will always be questions for us.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the regular season and beyond as they develop, looking for the answers as we evaluate the makeup of the Steelers on their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.
Question: What is your biggest football-related takeaway from yesterday’s game?
Let’s preface this by emphasizing right off the bat that this is a question about football. Even if you think the pre-game stuff was the biggest factor in the game, it’s not what the question is asking about. So let’s limit the answers to on-field matters.
The Steelers fell yesterday 23-17 during an overtime loss to the Bears, during which the home team scored an opening touchdown of the extra period, preventing the offense from having an opportunity to possess the ball.
A lot of things did not go their way yesterday on the football field, but it would seem that the most glaringly obvious was the run defense, which allowed the Bears to rush for 220 yards, averaging almost six yards per carry.
Prior to the overtime numbers, though, it didn’t look quite as bad. Chicago moved the ball 74 yards on four carries in overtime. Prior to that, they gained 146 yards on 34 carries, averaging about 4.3 yards per carry. Still not good, but also not utterly pathetic.
The offense’s failure to execute during many portions of the game was obviously a concern as well, but most egregious were the two drives that went nowhere in the last five minutes of the game after they were able to bring it to a tie.
Then there was special teams, which after two weeks of positive plays yielded two big negatives with a muffed punt and a blocked field goal that ultimately provided 10 points for the Bears.