Steelers Flawed But Fighting, And Winning

The Pittsburgh Steelers have put together five wins over the course of the first seven games of the 2017 NFL season; in none of them have they put together what I would describe as a ‘complete game’. But complete games don’t get you an extra-plus win, just a regular old win granted to you by scoring one more point than your opponent.

And so far the Steelers have done that whole winning thing as well as anybody in the AFC. As I noted last night, they are actually currently positioned atop the conference with their 5-2 record, which matches the best any other team has to offer. Just last week, the Chiefs were 5-0 before losing to Pittsburgh, and then Oakland, in a four-game span.

The team talked for a few years about setting a goal of scoring 30 points per game, but they haven’t even done that once so far in 2017. They did allow one team to score 30 points against them, however. And they have hit at least 26 points now three times, winning in each of those contests.

In their two losses, the Steelers were held below 18 points, scoring just nine points a couple of weeks ago at home against the Jaguars. That game was, of course, an anomaly, featuring five interceptions, two returned for touchdowns. Ben Roethlisberger has just one interception in the last two games, by the way, and that one being on Antonio Brown for stopping his route.

Interestingly enough, the defense has not allowed an opposing offense to score at least 20 points in six of the first seven games. The only exception came in an overtime loss to the Bears back in week three, which was of course the beginning of the end, as you will recall.

The Jaguars scored 30, but, of course, 14 of them came off of pick-sixes, so the defense only allowed 17 of those points—the missed one extra point attempt. If my memory serves, one or more of the other scores was probably also set up by a short field off of an interception.

There’s no getting around the fact that the Steelers are not playing flawless ball. But literally nobody is. Not the Patriots. Not the Falcons. Not the Chiefs. Not the Cowboys. Not the Eagles, the team with the best record in football, pending tonight’s game.

And that is the key. There is parity around the league because there are no dominant teams. The Steelers have enough firepower on offense and enough playmaking capability on defense to stand up to any team on any given day. That doesn’t mean that they will, but that they could.

The offense showed once again yesterday that they can move the ball down the field with relative ease, both on the ground and through the air, and that is without hitting on all cylinders. The defense showed that they can stiffen up and create pressure when they have to, and turn the ball over. That can be enough in a year like this.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • 695hoops

    Imagine how good the defense could be in the offense jumped out to 3 score lead.

  • DirtDawg1964

    When the Bengals got the ball on the Steelers’ side of the field, within two scores, the Steeler defence sacks Dalton twice and forces a punt. That’s dominance.

    This is a defence that can dominate. And the offence isn’t far from turning in some big numbers too. If we can get two home playoff games we have a serious chance at number seven,

  • Steel Realist PAul

    This was one of the D’s better games, against what had been a hot QB. Mostly good play all around, tho they are still missing the random play.

    And well.. Burns is a joke in the run game. But this was the type of game they needed at home against a team they should beat.

  • Jim Foles

    Imagine how good they would be if they could convert more 3rd and shorts…

  • ThatGuy

    2-0 when we don’t play at 1pm lol

  • It’s pretty sad when dominating a divisional opponent like yesterday still isn’t good enough for this spoiled community of posters here…

  • francesco

    Not enough scoring inside the redzone.
    Hard time converting on 3rd down when 2 or 3 yards to go. And on the defensive side…we give up easy touchdowns when teams are inside our 10 yard line. And yes every team has flaws and as such any team can be beaten with a sound game plan.

  • Lil Smitty

    The most encouraging thing I have seen so far is the team is improving each game. Lets hope that trend continues.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Perfectly stated. You don’t have to always be the best. You only have to be better than someone else, on any given day.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Lucky for us, we got lots of primetime games coming up!!!

  • JT

    1pm games against the Luck-less Colts and annually irrelevant Browns certainly look nice as our only early games left.

    As tongue and check as these comments are, they really are a different team when the lights come on. That’s part of the fun.

  • NCSteel

    You’re exactly right and THAT is the reason I’ve been so hard on this offense all year.
    Step the heck up and play to your abilities. The defense being played is enough for an offense with that much firepower. If they would just increase their efficiency and make better adjustments, utilize all the personnel at their disposal,
    This team can beat ANYONE.
    Continue to be inefficient in the red zone, fail to recognize what is working on offense on a given day and not be able to change it up on the fly and some other good team will get hot and take it from you. There is a real chance this year. Ay like it for 60 minutes every week and it’s theirs…and ours too.

  • Michael Conrad

    I agree steelers have a good chance unless they play NE in the playoffs LOL.

    The two flaws I see are a punter who can’t flip the field. Steelers are at their own 10 and he will get you 42 yards at best. I have not seen him boom one all year. I can’t believe they can’t fine a punter.

    The other is the TE play its below average with a lot of drops and not getting open and missed blocks. Can’t believe they did not draft a TE in the third or fourth round.

    I know the red zone and Haley’s play calling plus other problems with the passing game and Ben will not be fixed so we all just have to deal with it.

    Lets give a shout out to Mike Hilton and Haden they have been outstanding all year.

    Gay as a dime back is on his last legs. Hope Sutton gets back if needed.

  • Intense Camel

    Yup, not giving these guys any slack until they can at least put 30 on the board.

  • nutty32

    Clean up the red zone as you point out in the other article & this week’s performance was pretty darn close to perfect, I thought. Won all 3 phases. Out physicaled them on both sides of the ball. Hilton played great to open the game, Davis played solid throughout and the coverage & pass rush completely dominated the 2nd half. Bell rolling & Ben playing back to his normal high levels. Can’t wait for the Pats game: they’re gonna get wrecked!!!