Steelers Week 14: Cheers, Jeers, & Fears
Thank God for Boz.
As time ran out on Sunday, Chris Boswell’s right foot salvaged another win for the Steelers to put them at 10-2 on the season.
However, that’s not really the story here. This game was ugly. Hard (some illegal) hits were everywhere, and the Steelers had one of their best carted off the field five minutes into the first quarter.
Oh, and the teams combined for almost 300 yards in penalties. Ugly.
But, as the Steelers continue to do this season, they won. A 17-point deficit was wiped away as the defense stepped up and held Cincinnati to just three points in the second half.
Now Pittsburgh prepares for another tough test. The Ravens are one of the hottest teams in the AFC right now and this game is sure to be just as physical as the last.
Here are my week 14 cheers, jeers, and fears.
Second half defense.
After getting carved up in the first half for 17 points and more than 200 yards of offense, the Steelers defense turned it on in the final 30 minutes.
They got pressure on Dalton and the secondary made a few key plays that rattled the Bengals’ receivers. Cam Sutton came on in relief for a struggling Coty Sensabaugh and played as well as you could expect a rookie cornerback to play against on the of the league’s best receivers.
If they can continue this play against the Ravens, I like the Steelers’ chances of getting their eleventh win of the season on Sunday.
You cannot give up big plays on 3rd down.
Two times during the game Pittsburgh had the Bengals in 3rd and 15+ yards and gave up a first down on both occasions.
This can’t continue to happen.
Not only is it demoralizing for the defense, but it switches any momentum back to the offense. It’s unacceptable. When you have a golden opportunity to get off the field, you need to take it.
Ryan Shazier and his future. It’s what’s on everyone’s mind.
While Cam Heyward is the defensive captain, Shazier is the leader. It was tough to see him carted off, but it sounds like there is some good news on his injury.
I can’t imagine he’ll play this week, but it doesn’t look as serious as it did at first glance. Get well, #50.
With Shazier out, Deebo has to be active this week. Is there any better time for James Harrison to make his triumphant return to the lineup than against the Ravens at Heinz Field? Nope!
It’s going to be interesting how Pittsburgh configures the defense, but if I had to guess, I think they might slide Bud into the middle, and use Deebo as an edge rusher to put the fear of God in Flacco.
Pittsburgh took it to the Ravens in their last matchup. I don’t expect this one to play out in the same fashion.
The Ravens have an improved defense and are running the ball extremely well as of late. It’s going to be a tough, hard-fought game yet again.
If Pittsburgh gets the win, they wrap-up the AFC North title and are assured a home playoff game.