Steelers Week 8: Cheers, Jeers, & Fears
There’s no secret to the Steelers’ success in the 2017 season.
Pittsburgh’s fans know, the Steelers’ players know it, and the rest of the NFL knows it.
It’s LeVeon Bell.
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In the last two wins, Bell has carried the ball 68 times and had a total of 75 total touches for 383 yards. In Pittsburgh’s five wins this season, Bell has averaged 30 carried a game; in their two losses, Bell is averaging just 15 carries.
As Bell goes, so do the Steelers.
With two good wins in the books and the team playing better each week, Pittsburgh looks like a team primed to take a stranglehold of the AFC North.
Pittsburgh now faces a Detroit team with its fair share of ups and downs and is 3-3 on the season. The Lions’ offense can explode for points at any moment while the defense does just enough to keep them in games.
A win in Detroit and Pittsburgh will be sitting pretty heading into their bye week.
Here are my cheers, jeers, and fears for this week’s Sunday Night Football showdown with the Lions.
The whole team.
Pittsburgh played almost a complete game against the Bengals. The offense was clicking, and the defense made adjustments to stifle the Bengals’ potentially potent offense.
A.J. Green looked frustrated, Andy Dalton had to continuously pick himself up off the turf, and Cincinnati’s running game was almost nonexistent.
Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt are going to be a duo to be reckoned with for the rest of the season. Their speed, talent, and tenacity will win out more times than not against linemen and any running back that tries to get in their way.
On offense, JuJu Smith-Schuster continues to shine with the opportunities he is given. He showed great hands and strength throughout the game, plus, the kid is having a ball doing it.
Pittsburgh needs to start converting their red zone opportunities.
Chris Boswell was clutch in hitting four straight field goals to give the Steelers some breathing room down the stretch, but it was the result of an offense that came to a halt inside the 20-yard line.
The play calling was fine, it was just the execution by the players that was lacking this time.
Vance McDonald dropped a pass, Martavis Bryant couldn’t get in from inside the one, and even Bell had trouble finding an opening on a few plays.
This was the worst problem the Steelers had on Sunday, which means it was still a good day.
Martavis Bryant, what are you doing?
I don’t care about the trade request, although that is a distraction on its own. No, what I’m talking about is putting down a fellow teammate.
If you missed it, Bryant essentially said JuJu was nowhere near as good as he was. Putting down your teammate for no reason is a low blow.
I had Bryant’s back because I thought he had untapped talent, but this is too much. Don’t belittle a young emerging teammate just because you’re being pouty pants.
The Steelers are a veteran team and should be able to move past this, but still, it’s unnecessary and annoying.
Not to mention, he called in “sick” to team meetings the day after the game as well.
Grow up, Martavis.
Pittsburgh will force several turnovers, and Ben will make a big play to Antonio Brown that will break the game wide open.
Dupree and Watt will both put on a show against a bad offensive line and two running backs who cannot pass-block to save their lives.